Cathay Pacific Airways CEO Tony Tyler was named chairman of the IATA Board of Governors for 2009-10 at the organization´s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, succeeding Royal Jordanian CEO Samer Majali.
Speaking to media here, Tyler said his first priority is to achieve "a workable, sensible approach to [airline] emissions." On Monday, IATA announced a commitment to achieving carbon neutral growth from 2020 (ATWOnline, June 8).
Interestingly, Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the Aviation Global Deal Group, a coalition of six airlines plus BAA formed outside IATA to work for the inclusion of aviation in a "new global climate deal" scheduled to be discussed at December´s UN climate summit in Copenhagen. In April, the AGD presented a draft policy framework for aviation emissions to UN climate change negotiators in Bonn (ATWOnline, April 8)
On Tuesday, IATA Director-Aviation Environment Paul Steele said AGD and IATA are working toward the same goals and that there is no danger of the message being mixed, but Air Transport Assn. President and CEO James May has said that although ATA supports IATA´s goals it does not support AGD (ATWOnline, May 28).
At an environmental roundtable at the AGM, Tyler, British Airways CEO Willie Walsh and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker agreed that carbon neutral growth by 2020 is possible, but emphasized that all stakeholders need to play a part. "The goals are achievable but [the airline] industry can´t do it alone," Tyler said, adding that governments need to invest in airport and airways infrastructure and support research into alternative fuels. Airframe and engine manufacturers, meanwhile, must continue to invest in greener, more fuel efficient technology. "If it is not done together I do not think it will be possible to have carbon neutral growth," Al Baker said.
CFM International CEO Eric Bachelet, who also participated in the roundtable, said that "biofuels are absolutely indispensible to reaching our goals."
Al Baker blasted airline inclusion in the European emissions trading scheme, calling it "a complete farce created by the EU." He also warned that other states could retaliate by imposing their own fees and taxes on airlines flying into their airspace. Walsh said, "we´ve got to avoid a patchwork approach. . .it will kill us."
In addition to naming Tyler chairman for the current 12-month period, the IATA board agreed to appoint David Bronczek, president and CEO of FedEx Express, to serve as chairman following Tyler in June 2010.