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Airlines group Iata vows to work against protectionist agenda

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Iata, which represents 280 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic, said airport ownership should be with governments, as private owners have failed to deliver on their promises.

[SINGAPORE] Airlines across the world should counter protectionist narratives to ensure seamless operations, the lobby group for global carriers said, as an "open skies" deal in South-east Asia is set to increase connectivity in the region.

"Aviation needs borders that are open to people and trade," Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive officer of International Air Transport Association (Iata), said in his remarks at the Singapore Airshow.

"I would like to imagine a future for aviation where airlines are as free as possible to meet the demands for connectivity."

Iata, which represents 280 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic, said airport ownership should be with governments, as private owners have failed to deliver on their promises. The industry is headed towards a "crisis" as infrastructure isn't being built fast enough to meet growing demand, Mr de Juniac said.

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"We are yet to see an airport privatisation that has, in the long term, delivered on the promised benefits," he said, "By all means invite private sector expertise to bring commercial discipline and a customer service focus to airport management. But our view is that the ownership is best left in public hands."

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