IATA AGM 2024 News

- Dubai, UAE.

Airline Profitability Outlook Improves for 2024

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced strengthened profitability projections for airlines in 2024 compared with its June and December 2023 forecasts. An aggregate return above the cost of capital, however, continues to elude the global airline industry.

Outlook highlights include:

•    Net profits are expected to reach $30.5 billion in 2024 (3.1% net profit margin). That will be an improvement on 2023 net profits which are estimated to be $27.4 billion (3.0% net profit margin). It is also an improvement on the $25.7 billion (2.7% net profit margin) forecast for 2024 profits that IATA released in December 2023.
•    Return on invested capital in 2024 is expected to be 5.7%, which is about 3.4 percentage points (ppt) below the average cost of capital.
•    Operating profits are expected to reach $59.9 billion in 2024, up from an estimated $52.2 billion in 2023. 
•    Total revenues are expected to reach $996 billion (+9.7%) in 2024—a record high.  
•    Total expenses are expected to reach $936 billion (+9.4%) in 2024—a record high. 
•    Total travelers are expected to reach 4.96 billion in 2024—a record high.
•    Total air cargo volumes are expected to reach 62 million tonnes in 2024.

“In a world of many and growing uncertainties, airlines continue to shore-up their profitability. The expected aggregate net profit of $30.5 billion in 2024 is a great achievement considering the recent deep pandemic losses. With a record five billion air travelers expected in 2024, the human need to fly has never been stronger. Moreover, the global economy counts on air cargo to deliver the $8.3 trillion of trade that gets to customers by air. Without a doubt, aviation is vital to the ambitions and prosperity of individuals and economies. Strengthening airline profitability and growing financial resilience is important. Profitability enables investments in products to meet the needs of our customers and in the sustainability solutions we will need to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

“The airline industry is on the path to sustainable profits, but there is a big gap still to cover. A 5.7% return on invested capital is well below the cost of capital, which is over 9%. And earning just $6.14 per passenger is an indication of just how thin our profits are—barely enough for a coffee in many parts of the world. To improve profitability, resolving supply chain issues is of critical importance so we can deploy fleets efficiently to meet demand. And relief from the parade of onerous regulation and ever-increasing tax proposals would also help. An emphasis on public policy measures that drive business competitiveness would be a win for the economy, for jobs, and for connectivity. It would also place us in a strong position to accelerate investments in sustainability,” said Walsh.

73 CEOs Commit to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, Strengthening Global Safety Culture

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the number of airline CEOs committing to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter has reached 73. This reinforces aviation’s already strong safety culture which contributed to some best-ever results in 2023, including no fatalities among IATA member airlines or the airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit Registry

“Strong leadership and strong safety culture are interdependent. And both are needed to drive continuous improvements in safety performance. By putting their names to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, 73 airline CEOs have set an example for their airlines and for the industry. In doing so, the Charter is a call to action that keeps in focus the critical obligation of airline CEOs to lead a safety culture that keeps their passengers and staff safe,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The IATA Safety Leadership Charter was developed in consultation with IATA members and the wider aviation community. Its aim is to support industry executives in evolving a positive safety culture within their organizations around eight leadership principles.

•    Reinforcing safety through both words and actions.

•    Fostering safety awareness among employees, the leadership team, and the board.

•    Guiding the integration of safety into business strategies, processes, and performance measures.

•    Creating the internal capacity to proactively manage safety and collectively achieve organizational safety goals.

•    Creating an atmosphere of trust, where all employees feel responsible for safety and are encouraged and expected to report safety-related information.

•    Establishing a working environment in which clear expectations of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are communicated and understood.

•    Creating an environment where all employees feel responsibility for safety.

•    Regularly assessing and improving an organizational Safety Culture.

IATA aims to support the industry in continuously improving safety performance with a three-pillar strategy consisting of: 

•    Safety Leadership (including both safety leadership and culture), 

•    Safety Risk (identifying and mitigating risks through data collection and analysis from audits, accident reports, and other sources)

•    Safety Connect (providing the links so that safety leaders report, discuss, and resolve safety issues). 

IATA Schedule Data Exchange Program Gathers Momentum

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today reported that some 40 airlines have signed a formal agreement to contribute their schedules data to the IATA Schedule Data Exchange Program. A further 40 are in the process of preparing to join. Work on the program began in October 2023 with the first release planned in March 2025.

“The early and strong support for the IATA Schedule Data Exchange Program bodes well for its success. Coverage is growing with each new airline that comes on board. And we encourage all airlines—IATA members and non-members—to join this strategic industry effort,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The Schedule Data Exchange Program will collect schedules, capacity, and minimum connecting time (MCT) data used in several IATA products and services supporting network development, revenue management, slot coordination and interline agreements. IATA is not creating a commercial product aimed at replacing or competing with entities currently distributing schedule data. Participating airlines will have access to the data on a give-to-get principle. 

The program is open to both IATA and non-IATA member airlines. Participating airlines will submit their data to IATA with the same format, frequency, and transmission method they currently use to distribute their schedules. The data sharing principles and data release policy of the program are determined by an advisory group comprised of participating carriers. 

"The IATA Board of Governors has set a strategic priority for IATA to be the most authoritative source of industry data across a wide range of topics. The value this creates for the industry is apparent in critical IATA data sets from safety and operations to business intelligence. There is also an industry interest in ensuring that industry data has the potential to be provided through several sources. Airlines are all too familiar with the detrimental impacts of having limited competition in their supplier communities,” said Walsh.

IndiGo to Host 81st IATA AGM in Delhi

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that IndiGo will host the 81st IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Delhi, India, on 8-10 June 2025.

“We look forward to gathering the aviation industry in Delhi, India’s gateway city, for the 81st IATA AGM in 2025. It’s been over four decades since the industry came together for an IATA AGM in Delhi. With record aircraft orders, impressive growth, and world-class infrastructure developments, India is firmly on the trajectory to become the world’s third largest aviation market within this decade.  With such bright prospects, it’s the perfect time for the IATA AGM to return to India and witness these exciting developments first hand,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

“IndiGo is proud to be host airline for the 81st IATA AGM and looks forward to welcoming the global aviation community to Delhi in 2025. India, becoming the third largest economy within the next few years and leading the fourth industrial revolution with the use of AI, is a nation on the move. India's rise in the global aviation landscape over the last years has been nothing short of remarkable, said Pieter Elbers, CEO, IndiGo. 

“IndiGo has been giving wings to the nation since 2006 and increasingly also expands internationally. Building on aviation as a force for good and India’s unique diversity, we are looking forward to engaging in meaningful dialogues aimed at sculpting the global aviation landscape around important topics such as safety, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as sustainability, while efficiently delivering the growing global demand for air travel,” said Elbers.

The decision to host the 81st IATA AGM in India was made at the 80th IATA AGM in Dubai. This will be the third time the IATA AGM has convened in Delhi, having previously visited India in 1958 and 1983.  

Pieter Elbers Chairs IATA Board of Governors

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo, has assumed his duties as Chair of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG). His one-year term began at the conclusion of the 80th IATA Annual General Meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 3 June.

Elbers is the 82nd Chair of the IATA BoG. He served earlier on the BoG between 2016 and 2022 as KLM’s President and CEO and was reappointed to the Board in 2022 shortly after he became IndiGo’s CEO. He succeeds RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo who will continue to serve on the BoG.

“It is indeed an honor to assume this role at a time when India is emerging as one of the world's largest and fastest growing civil aviation markets and evolving into a formidable force in the airline industry. Adhering to IATA’s legacy of aviation as a force for good, we will continue in our focus of highlighting the benefits of aviation in building connections, augmenting trade, tourism and mobility—benefits also so visible in India. At the same time, it is imperative that we persist in our commitment towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive and also more sustainable aviation industry, creating positive change for generations to come. IATA plays a pivotal role in establishing global standards; I am eager to continue collaborating with global industry leaders, regulators, and stakeholders towards our collective goals,” said Elbers.

Elbers has over 30 years of broad experience in the aviation industry. He has been CEO of IndiGo since September 2022 and has taken IndiGo on a journey of expansion and internationalization since. Prior to joining IndiGo, he served for eight years as President and CEO of KLM. He started his career at KLM in 1992 as Manager Aircraft Loading and has held various key executive positions with KLM in The Netherlands, Japan, Greece, and Italy. 

“I look forward to working with Pieter as we deliver the industry’s sustainability commitments, address supply chain challenges, and strengthen the global standards critical for our industry’s efficient connectivity. I also want to thank Yvonne for her strong support and leadership over the past year. She has helped us to firmly establish Focus Africa as a key initiative to expand aviation’s social and economic benefits on the continent. And, as our first female BoG Chair, Yvonne has been an inspiration for the 25by2025 initiative to improve aviation’s gender balance,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

Chair Elect and Board of Governors Appointments

IATA announced Luis Gallego Martin, Chief Executive Officer, IAG (representing IBERIA), to serve as Chair of the BoG from June 2025, following Elbers’ term. IATA also published the full list of its 32 BoG members.

See list of Board of Governors



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