2022 World Financial Symposium to focus on airline resilience

Qatar to host IATA meet in September
2022-08-24
/
/ New Delhi
2022 World Financial Symposium to focus on airline resilience

IATA DG WIllie Walsh with Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker in June 2022

How the airline industry in the world is coping with the largest-ever collapse inflicted upon the sector by the Covid-19 pandemic will be the focus of discussions at the 2022 World Financial Symposium to be held in Qatar’s capital Doha next month.
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry association has announced that the 2022 World Financial Symposium (WFS), to take place in Doha in Qatar, will focus on reshaping airline resilience. The event will take place from September 19-22, with Qatar Airways as the host airline.

IATA says that following the greatest shock to aviation in history, the industry is emerging rapidly from the pandemic and government-mandated travel restrictions of the past two years. Industry losses are expected to reduce to USD 9.7 billion this year from nearly USD 180 billion in red ink in 2020-21. As travel barriers fall in most regions, very strong demand is supporting expectations for a recovery to pre-pandemic traffic levels by 2024, with profitability a possibility in 2023, says IATA.

At the same time airline debt levels have soared as carriers borrowed to stay aloft during the crisis. And finance departments across the industry will face other big challenges as the industry moves to achieve its 2050 fly net zero commitment.

“Airlines are resilient. Now is the time to build on the hard work and difficult restructuring of the past two years to seize opportunities coming out of the crisis. Finance will play a vital role in supporting the ongoing recovery while creating a sustainable capital structure to support our ambitious environment agenda,” says Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“We are honoured to be hosting the first in-person WFS since 2019 during our milestone 25th year of operations. This vital symposium will bring together financial leaders from airlines and our many supply chain partners to discuss and debate the path forward and the challenges to be overcome,” says Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker.

A highlight of the WFS Opening Plenary will be an onstage discussion with Akbar Al Baker and Willie Walsh on the theme of the industry’s future.

According to the press release by IATA, other sessions at the event will discuss a wide range of subjects such as the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting and sustainable finance trends, which is now a common mantra in boardrooms across the entire spectrum of the global economy. Another major theme is perhaps the biggest challenge facing the entire aviation industry to make it net zero carbon emitter by 2050. The other topics up for debates and discussions would include:

  • Financial risk management
  • The road to airline retailing and customer centricity
  • Fulfillment and settlement in a world of airline offers and orders
  • The future of airline payments and payments as a value creator
  • Understanding and preparing for OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) 2.0

WFS will also feature a review of the industry economic outlook and resilience from IATA’s Chief Economist, Marie Owens Thomsen, says the press release.

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