May you live in interesting times

We are living in interesting times. In the business of air transport, the fundamental lies in the freedom of connectivity.

We are living in interesting times. In the business of air transport, the fundamental lies in the freedom of connectivity. What we are seeing now is not helping the industry. On the political fronts, there are calls for a curb to globalization and free trade is under attack. Protectionism is on the rise. We find uncertainties abound in the global economy amid security concerns. Analysts and pundits are sounding the alarm bells.


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However, I feel that these are all rhetoric and sooner or later, the reality of the market forces of demand and supply will set in. In this present age of consumerism and the rise of the middle class, there is simply no way that anybody, let alone ignoramus and rabble-rousing politicians, can stop the aspiration of the people.


A case in point: Asia Pacific. E-commerce is on the rise; there is a huge growing middle class with disposable income that is ordering more products online. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing e-commerce trading bloc, with China as the world’s largest e-commerce market.


Consumers want their products as fast as possible, and they are willing to pay a premium. And on top of this, some goods like perishable and pharmaceutical are time-sensitive and as such, definitely require air transport. All these factors boost air cargo growth.


With that said, Asia Pacific’s air transport industry is off to a good start in January 2017 with growth recorded in both international air passenger and air cargo sectors.


Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), said that the year ahead looked positive, with renewed optimism on global growth prospects and improving consumer and business confidence across sectors.


It is ironic that the leader of the largest communist country in the world has to stand up against protectionism and defend free trade. Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China, in his speech at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, gave a robust and logical argument for globalization. He said that going down the road of protectionism was like locking oneself in a dark room.


After all, humankind has gone through the ebb and fl ow of industrial revolutions and advanced economically to where we are now through innovation and technological breakthrough. The air transport industry has been and will be an indispensable part of our economic progression now and into the future.


An on that note, see you soon!