By the time Routes Europe 2016 begins, the memory of the terrorist attack in Brussels, targeting both the airport and the metro station and killing 35, will be beginning to fade. But writing on the day of the event, I am not only struck by the appalling nature of the attack, but also by the stirring response of IATA boss Tony Tyler.
First, he says the attacks will likely lead to more calls for greater airport security. Perhaps this is feasible and modern airports can be turned into impenetrable fortresses. However, this will simply drive the problem elsewhere. Instead, we should keep in mind Tyler’s point that “aviation is a force for good.” Because it is. He believes it breaks down barriers and builds understanding between cultures, both of which are vital both for the world today and tomorrow.
And this edition of Routes News proves that too.
Our report from the first aviation conference in Iran after the lifting of sanctions on the country on page 32 shows just how much it is depending on new levels of connectivity.
Similarly the feature on the speed with which US airlines are queuing up to get into Cuba in the wake of lifted sanctions shows (page 46) not only how keen the Cuban market is to explore its new freedoms, but also how keen Americans are to visit and explore this formerly forbidden country.
Aviation, and the vital role route development plays in it, has that ability to not just help humans, but to help humanity. That’s not to say the process is painless. A strengthening Ryanair in Eastern Europe will likely cause more problems for legacy airlines in the region than for rival Wizz Air (page 18).
And aviation remains subject to the vagaries of world economics, as our new Hot Topic feature focusing on oil prices (page 52) demonstrates.
Because of all this the chance to meet in Kraków at Routes Europe 2016 and drive new deals is more important then ever.
editor, Routes News