Air transport is essential for the success and competitiveness of Europe, according to businessmen

MADRID, 8 Nov.

Air transport is essential for the success and competitiveness of Europe, according to businessmen


Reducing costs and improving airport infrastructure are the two main priorities for strengthening the European air transport network, according to a survey of 500 business leaders from the continent by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Furthermore, along with those priorities, there were others that were chosen by the respondents, such as improving links between public transport and air networks, reducing delays and decarbonisation.

For IATA President Willie Walsh, these expectations have been underlined in IATA's long-standing calls for governments to support greater efficiency in air transport.

"The implementation of the Single European Sky will reduce delays and the effective economic regulation of airports will keep costs under control and guarantee adequate investments," he added.

On the other hand, those surveyed consider air transport "essential" for the success and competitiveness of their business. According to the IATA survey, 89% believe that being close to an airport with global connections gives them a competitive advantage and 84% could not imagine doing business without access to air transport networks.

Additionally, some 61% of business leaders surveyed rely on aviation for global connectivity, either exclusively (35%) or in combination with intra-European travel (26%).

Regarding rail transport, although 82% of the entrepreneurs surveyed stated that air connectivity is more important than rail, choosing an efficient mode of transport is important for their business activities.

Thus, they indicated that the rail network is a suitable alternative for business trips (71%) and 64% said that they would use the rail more frequently for business trips if the costs were lower.

Employers expressed their confidence in aviation decarbonization efforts, with 86% aware of aviation's commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 74% confident that the commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The business leaders surveyed believe that the priority for aviation decarbonisation should be to find technical solutions to continue to fly sustainably.

In this sense, the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) was the most preferred solution (40%), followed by hydrogen (25%). The least popular solutions are pricing carbon in the cost of travel (13%), reducing flights (12%) and encouraging rail use (9%).