The aviation industry needs to show leadership and courage in addressing the challenges of compounding traffic growth over the next two decades, Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has said.
“Fifty per cent growth in air traffic over the next 20 years represents an additional 140 million passenger movements and we cannot simply keep doing things the way we have been as an industry and expect to cope,” Borghetti said in his keynote address to Airservices’ Waypoint industry conference in Canberra on Wednesday.
“But while the outlook is undeniably bright on the demand side, the supply side is where the real challenges lie. If we fail to manage the challenges effectively as an industry, Australia’s aviation system will not reach its full potential. This will have long-term impacts on the competitiveness of Australia’s businesses, trade and tourism.”
As a result, “Leadership is essential to bring stakeholders together to articulate their vision and develop goals and strategies for the long term,” Borghetti said. “And leadership is vital to form the partnerships that have the capacity to deliver outcomes well beyond those that can be achieved in isolation.
“But leadership is about more than that. It is the courage to think differently and to challenge the status quo. It is not being afraid to pursue outcomes because they have been discounted in the past or because the hurdles seem insurmountable. As leaders we have a responsibility to turn our minds to creative solutions, to make the case in the face of opposition and to foster a culture in our organisations that both promotes and harnesses this kind of thinking in our people.”
Borghetti told an industry audience representing the major and regional airlines, airports, business and general aviation operators, CASA and Airservices that “collaboration is integral to the sustainability and future growth of the aviation industry in Australia. As individual airlines, airports and government agencies we are all striving for continuous improvement, but partnerships have the potential to deliver step changes.”