Eric Leopold – Former Director at IATA discusses Strategy for Airline Capabilities Post COVID-19 crisisAUS Speaker Series
The American University in Switzerland prepares students with skills needed for the future. Interlaced with AUS courses, classroom discussions, and projects, guest speakers regularly enhance the learning experience.
The AUS Speaker Series are monthly lectures given by different leading experts who share their experiences, insights, and advice with students and alumni.
AUS was delighted to virtually host Eric Leopold – Former Director Industry Strategy and former Director Transformation, Financial, Distribution, and Data Services at the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
View the ongoing COVID-19 crisis Eric discussed strategy for airline capabilities post-COVID crisis giving students and alumni an overview of what approaches IATA dealt with.
Could we have anticipated the crisis?
IATA published the 2035 vision paper in 2018 where items discussed included:
- “Pandemics” identified in the top 13 drivers of change
- “Will future outbreaks limit people’s desire and freedom to travel, as well as presenting significant economic challenges for the industry?”
- “Recommendation 7: With the increasing risk of pandemics, a global approach to managing infectious diseases becomes ever more important. While airlines need to be vigilant and prepared, IATA should also stress the increasingly important role that all stakeholders, particularly governments, need to play to ensure that responses are in line with WHO guidance and international health regulations”
The aviation industry has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with borders being closed and flights getting canceled. Airlines have had to adapt to the pandemic and put in place new health and safety measures to safeguard travelers as well as minimize the risks of transmitting and transporting the virus. With that all in place, it was still inevitable that international air travel would see a massive drop.
Not only did COVID-19 force the travel industry to quickly adapt, it also promoted the thinking of new strategies and changes to make moving forward. During Mr. Eric Leopold’s management role at IATA, the industry looked at Bio-Safety Strategies to prevent future pandemics notably, aspects such as global virus early detection systems, quick and affordable testing solutions, and passengers having a health data wallet. The plan moving forward is to minimize the risks of transporting and transmitting viruses in the airline industry.
The Aviation Environment Strategy
The pandemic has definitely not slowed down regulators and government efforts to cut emissions in the aviation industry. Some of the aspects in the agenda have included:
- Using alternative fuels for aircrafts such as biofuels
- Increasing joint collaborations on research for biofuels
- Ways in offsetting carbon emissions caused by the aviation industry
- Developing aircraft with zero emissions – such as the hydrogen-powered aircraft
Proposal for Airline Capabilities
On behalf of the AUS Team, students, and alumni we would like to thank Mr. Eric Leopold for having shared his vast experience and knowledge in the aviation industry.