This year is a landmark year for commercial aviation, marking the centenary of the first commercial flight and the 70th anniversary of the Chicago Convention, the document which kick-started the transformation of aviation into the modern, global sector that it is today. An excellent opportunity for the Strategy Summit to ask: what will aviation look like in 30 years, the one hundredth anniversary of the Chicago Convention?
In his talk with Mike Miller of Routes during the World Routes Strategy Summit on Sunday, John Byerly, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US State Department predicted that the industry will see “global carriers rising” over the coming years.
He contrasts the situation in countries which consider aviation as a strategic asset such as The Netherlands, Singapore, Chile or Turkey, with states which make choices that do not promote aviation and economic growth. “In the future we will see much more competition between governments when it comes to structuring the framework for aviation in a way that the industry can thrive,” he says. Markets with a good infrastructure would undoubtedly benefit, while the industry could be facing difficulties in Europe and elsewhere due to high taxation, infrastructure constraints and night-flight bans, often triggered by anti-aviation sentiment.
Despite the regulatory challenges, Byerly expects more cross-border mergers in the future, referring to the creation of LATAM in the Americas and a swath of cross-border mergers in Europe such as BA-Iberia or Air France-KLM. Asked what Governments and the industry should prioritise, he stated that “we need to lay the foundations, need to pour cement, need to modernise ATC, and need to stay vigilant in terms of safety and security. Overall I’m positive, I’m optimistic.”