KUALA LUMPUR: The World Air Transport Summit and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 62nd AGM which kicks off in Paris from June 4 to 6 will discuss issues plaguing the industry, from rising jet fuel prices and e-ticketing to safety matters.
About 800 representatives from IATA member airlines, associates, associations, aviation manufacturers and suppliers are expected to turn up at this year's event, which is the platform for players in the global aviation industry to thrash out issues and network among themselves.
This will be the second IATA-related meet for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) managing director Idris Jala, who has also been invited to be a panellist at one of the upcoming summit's forums. Idris, who has headed the national airline for six months, will be a panellist at the executive briefing on aviation fuel.
The other panellists are Deutsche Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Mexicana Airlines CEO Emilio Romano and Cathay Pacific manager, International operations, Owen Dell.
Fuel is a major concern among global airlines as rising crude oil prices have pushed jet fuel prices to astronomical heights, thus putting great pressure on airlines' operational costs and their margins.
The session will look at pricing, output and investment in refining capacity. It will also discuss prospects for alternative sources of fuel and hedging strategies in the market, as well as explore the scope for further improvement in efficiency.
The summit will also address the e-ticketing area, where leaders will discuss the interline and strategic issues that will move the aviation industry towards a paperless world and the phasing out of paper tickets.
Safety is another pressing issue as aviation experts seek new ways of making passenger travel safe. The CEOs are also expected to discuss whether cost efficiency is a pre-requisite for profitability.
Other CEOs of Asian airlines who will be engaged in forums are Singapore Airline chief executive Chew Choong Seng and Air India chairman and MD, Vasudevan Thulasidas.
IATA was set up in 1945 and held its first meeting in Havana in Cuba. At that time, the association had 57 members from 31 countries, and today, the number exceeds 270 members from 143 countries.