Daily Management Review

Global Airlines Conference Agenda To Accord Importance To Fresh Safety Concerns


Global Airlines Conference Agenda To Accord Importance To Fresh Safety Concerns
Even as global airline executives gathered on Sunday for the industry's largest meeting of the year, safety concerns reign high on the agenda of the meeting after a deadly attack in London and rising debate over the travel restrictions in the United States put in place by President Donald Trump.
In a manner that is similar to behaviors pf travelers after attacks in Europe last year, the weekend's violence in London could discourage potential visitors from travelling, said Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
"In previous events, in Brussels or in Paris, the traffic has reduced coming from certain regions of the world," de Juniac said in an interview. "So it's possible that there is an impact, but it's a bit early to know how big this impact will be."
In what was Britain's third major militant attack in recent months, at least seven people were killed when three attackers rammed a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed others nearby on Saturday night.
And with respect to an executive order that would temporarily ban entry into the United States of people from six predominantly Muslim countries, U.S. President Donald Trump was quick to seize on the violence and for arguing in favor of that executive order. At present, Trump's legal team has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate it after the ban was blocked in the courts in the U.S.
"We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!" Trump said in a series of Twitter messages.
While it was unclear whether the impact on tourism would match the fallout from similar attacks in Europe last year, even though various airlines were quick to offer assurances and refunds to travelers on edge after the London attack.
Chief Executive of Malaysia Airlines - Peter Bellew said that the airline has already offered free refunds to customers flying into London through June 5. The company can even extend that offer.
"Very few people have taken up the offer and we haven't seen any drop-off in bookings to London. But it's not good," Bellew said.
After attacks in Paris, Brussels and Nice last year, carriers in Europe reported a drop in demand from travelers from Asia. However, air traffic has recovered this year.
Carriers in Asia could rethink growth plans for new routes to Europe or the United States, Bellew said.
"I think it will have an impact," Bellew said, adding that it built on Asian airlines' aversion to political risk in Europe and the United States.
"For colleagues in Asia, there's no risk sending a new plane or new flight to China, or a new route from Australia. You will see a certain insularity in this vast region."