The International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday celebrated 20 years of its presence in Jordan with the inauguration of an expanded Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office in Amman.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, and Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General Emeritus were in Amman for the celebrations which were marked by:
An office inauguration by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein
An audience with His Majesty King Abdullah II
A dialogue with Transport Minister Muhannad Qudah on e-freight, environment, user charges and cooperation with IATA
And a meeting with Royal Jordanian (RJ) Chairman Nasser Lozi and RJ CEO Hussein Dabbas
“IATA is proud to call Jordan its home in MENA. His Majesty King Abdullah has a clear vision, in which aviation plays a key role, to make life better for all Jordanians. This is being achieved with a world-class national carrier like Royal Jordanian and the government’s progressive policies. As we inaugurate our new and expanded MENA regional office in Amman, we are looking to the future. IATA is strongly committed to Jordan as the base for our important work across the region,” said Tyler.
MENA is one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. In a decade, Middle East traffic grew from 5% of the global total to 11%. The regional office serves IATA’s 27 MENA-based members as well as governments and industry stakeholders. The MENA office’s remit has recently been expanded to support back office management for IATA’s financial systems for the whole African continent. In total, the MENA office processes over $18 billion in annual settlements for 62 countries.
Tyler noted that the region is facing some challenges. “This year is shaping up to be another tough one for the global industry—including the MENA region. We expect global profits to fall to $4 billion—nearly an 80% drop from 2010. In particular MENA is facing political developments that continue to change the face of the region and undoubtedly are impacting traffic. After a decade of double digit expansion, MENA growth has slowed to single digit figures this year. But I am optimistic about the future. Solid economic growth, a strategic location and rapidly expanding modern infrastructure will continue to develop a leadership role for MENA in global aviation. IATA is here to support that positive development,” said Tyler.
“Our Amman-based team is fully committed to supporting the successful growth of aviation in the Middle East and Africa. From Amman we provide local access to the full range of IATA’s activities. Our work in the region includes addressing the technical issues of safety operations and infrastructure, providing global standard financial systems, to training aviation professionals and helping governments formulate policies on important issues like liberalization and environment. We look forward to continuing to grow successfully within this important region,” said Tyler.