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Message by Tony Tyler, Director General & CEO

The celebration of 100 years of scheduled commercial aviation was front and center at the 70th IATA AGM.

This year airlines will connect 3.3 billion passengers and 52 million tonnes of cargo over 50,000 routes with 100,000 flights a day. But more importantly, we are the life blood of the global economy. As a catalyst for economic and social development, aviation and the businesses that we support have spread prosperity and lifted countless people from poverty.

By providing people the freedom to be almost anywhere in just 24 hours, we have turned a big planet into a small world of enormous and wonderful opportunities.

Despite the challenges to its financial performance, aviation has been fantastically successful at changing the world for the better. Two important contributors to that success are partnerships and global standards.

The very first commercial flight was a partnership between an entrepreneur, a plane maker and a pilot. The industry’s partnerships have become much more complex and extend to governments and regulators. But the principle—that no one member of the value chain can do it all—is as relevant today as it was a century ago.

Global standards are the “common language” among the industry’s partners. Safety is the clearest example of how global standards have driven progress. And in a world that has become smaller through the dense web of aviation connectivity, the importance of global standards has only increased. They are critical in areas as divergent as passenger rights and climate change to security, infrastructure and much more.

As we look forward to aviation’s next century, an important key to success will be a global mindset—one that understands the important contributions of aviation as well as the global standards and partnerships that support it.

Thanks to all who attended this year’s AGM. We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you over the course of the year. And please mark your calendars for our 71st AGM which will take place 7-9 June 2015 in Miami, Florida.

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