CANSO calls for collaboration


CANSO has highlighted to global Transport Ministers aviation’s history of collaboration, and the vital need for the industry to work together to combat current challenges.

Addressing the International Civil Aviation Organization’s High-level Conference on COVID-19, Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO said: “There has been much talk about collaboration during this crisis, and there have been excellent examples of it. But there is a need for similar collaboration as we work, individually and collectively, to deal with the lasting economic impacts of this crisis and move towards a recovery that is sustainable.”

States’ response to the COVID pandemic of using travel restrictions meant that demand fell faster than costs ever could. The economics of the industry, as one with narrow or non-existent profit margins even in good years, were turned inside out. Companies and organisations across the aviation industry necessarily remained operational even while financial losses of millions each day racked up on the balance sheet.

While some had the option of ceasing operations, or parking aircraft, to reduce costs in response to falling traffic, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) did not have that option. ANSPs also sought ways to reduce their own costs in line with falling traffic and within the limits of a high fixed cost base and concerns that making cuts too deep may jeopardise future capacity or the ability to service the recovery.

Simon Hocquard added: “While there are encouraging signs of traffic recovery, a difficult road lies ahead, economic recovery will lag and the debt assumed during this period will take years to erase. Aviation has always been a complex ecosystem of companies and organisations dependent on each other, and on whom the functioning of the total system depends. It is essential that this High Level Conference recognise that interdependence and that the collaborative spirit with which we have worked over the past 20 months persists as we look to chart a path to a recovery that allows all parts of the industry to regain economic sustainability.”