Full article in PDF format: page 21-25 & cover
Whatever AACO's executive committee was planning for this year's annual general meeting (AGM), their agenda has been torn asunder by two catastrophic events still gripping the airline industry.
Malaysia Airlines cruelly bore the brunt of both disasters – the loss, literally, of MH370 in March, and the shooting down of MH17 in July – but all aviation stakeholders now face the grave responsibility of plugging safety gaps and improving regulatory protocols. No region is more burdened with this collective duty than the Middle East, whose fast-expanding airlines operate in the most volatile of neighbourhoods.
At the same time, though, more familiar concerns still weigh heavily on the region's airlines. In European capitals, increasingly protectionist measures are being called on to fight Gulf competition; in Arab capitals, the 2004 Damascus Convention is falling well short of its promise to liberalise Middle Eastern skies...