Emphasis on sustainable financial growth and industry collaboration at the IATA WFS in Barcelona

Laura Cobbold

Corporate Communications Manager, Group Communications, Amadeus IT Group

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This week Barcelona is the host city for the second edition of IATA’s World Financial Symposium (WFS), an event which gathers financial executives and specialists together across the aviation industry to discuss shared challenges and best practices for financial management.


Aleks Popovich, IATA’s SVP, Financial and Distribution Services, opened the talks this morning by stating that “this is a unique event to support sustained financial health in the airline industry”.

This theme was explored in depth by Julie Perovic, Senior Economist at IATA, who gave an overview of the economic panorama facing airlines today. Ms Perovic discussed the main financial challenges, such as volatile fuel costs and a certain dependence on a strong global GDP in order to sustain profitability. On the positive side, there has been a solid growth in demand for travel, and, as seen in the graph depicted, in 2015 the airline industry’s return on capital (ROIC) is above the cost.

WFS 2015

Navigating the global minefield in the search of strong margins is clearly top of mind for every airline’s CFO, and Javier Sánchez-Prieto, Iberia’s CFO, addressed this in his presentation. He emphasised the gradual shift that is happening today as airline CFOs are moving from financial stewardship to strategy and business transformation, in order to be able to achieve their targets.

Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of IATA, outlined in his presentation that it is IATA’s priority to enable airlines to achieve a firm financial footing in the years ahead, and he finished by stating that above all, the industry cannot move forward without the support of their partners: “collaboration is key”.

As IATA celebrates its 70th year, in Amadeus IT Group we look forward to collaborating with IATA and other industry players to achieve that aim.