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Future of flying WTM debate
October 2008 901

The World Travel Market 2008 will present an airline programme which will explore issues of the turbulent environment currently affecting the air industry. Discussions at seminar sessions will include a range of subjects such as market position, rising fuel costs, future strategy and the environment.
Chaired by senior industry consultant, John Strickland, the programme begins with the head to head featuring airline chief executive officers examining the new long haul low cost business model on Tuesday November 11.
The Head to Head panel includes Alex Cruz CEO of Clickair and Azran Osman Rani CEO of Air Asia X. Specifically looking at the low-cost market the seminar will discuss how it differs from the short haul model and how important low cost airlines are to the travel and tourism industry.
On Wednesday November 12, John Strickland will chair a targeted seminar on the Airline Impact on the Environment. As one of the main targets in the carbon emissions dispute, the seminar looks at what the airline industry is doing to improve its own performance.
Speakers consists of Silla Maizey, head of corporate social responsibility at British Airways, Dr Mark Watson, head of corporate environmental affairs at the Society of British Aerospace Companies, Jill Brady, general counsel for Virgin Atlantic Airways and Nick Mercer, commercial director for Eurostar. Topics include Better Air Traffic Control, more efficient aircraft, improvements in engine technology, bio fuels, passenger carbon offsetting, and trains versus planes.
John Strickland said, “Airlines today are facing a crisis situation-they are under pressure from all angles with rising fuel prices, falling demand and environmental criticism. We will be exploring how the world’s airlines are facing up to these tough challenges. What are their business strategies today and what new models are emerging? How do they meet the complaints about airlines’ contribution to the environment problem and what are they doing about it?”
“There is much positive activity underway and we aim, with our panels of top industry players, to explore the issues and demonstrate not only the importance of the air transport business to tourism and the global economy, but to highlight the real energy and determination it is applying to the problems which it faces,” he said.
Rounding out the sector’s programme the airline debate will play an important role in Thursday November 13’s WTM Global Economic Forum where John Strickland will represent the industry. Bringing together the impact of the global credit crunch on air travel with the effects on trading volumes, the outlook for long term growth assessment, changing trends, industry consolidation and the role of government in air transport, Strickland will discuss how these issues tie into the overall effects on travel and tourism, as airline travel is one of the major modes of transportation for holidaymakers.




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