Growing tension over international trade could damage the airline industry and the world economy, global airlines and aviation executives warned on Sunday.
“Any measures that reduce trade and probably consequently limit passenger travel are bad news,” Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association, told Reuters at IATA’s annual meeting in Sydney. The group represents most of the world’s main airlines
“We always get concerned when you start to see tensions elevate around global trade and free trade,” American Airlines Group (AAL.O) Chief Executive Doug Parker said. American has not seen any effect yet on revenues, he said.
The uncertainty could curb demand for the business travel, a key driver of profits for the airline industry, Gloria Guevara Manzo, chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Planemakers Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA) echoed that the uncertainty was bad for business and said free trade helped to drive economic growth, creating jobs. Airbus said the aviation industry existed because people could travel freely and markets were open.