ALTA commemorates 40 years serving the aviation industry
On its anniversary, ALTA reaffirms its commitment to aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean
Panama, April 8, 2020 – On April 8, 1980 in Bogota, Colombia, 12 Latin American airlines founded the Latin American Air Transport International Association (AITAL): Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Aeroperú, Avianca, Cruzeiro Do Sul, Varig, Empresa Ecuatoriana de Aviación, Lacsa, Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, Mexicana de Aviación and Viasa.
The foundation of AITAL was a response to the conjuncture of the industry and the need for a common forum to analyze and discuss on an equal basis the issues affecting international air transport and, specifically, air transport in Latin America, with the aim of defining guidelines to better defend regional interests for the mutual benefit of the air transport in the region and its users. Its first Executive Director was Dr. Diego Pardo Tovar and its first President of the Executive Committee was Mr. Julio Mario Santo Domingo, who at that time served as President of the Board of Directors of Avianca.
In 2003, after two decades in Bogota, the Association reached a major milestone with the establishment of its headquarters in Miami, because of the relevance this city was taking in the international context and the connectivity it offered to all Latin American and Caribbean countries. The structural changes that took place at that time in the Association led to officially change it name to Latin American Air Transport Association (ALTA) in 2004.
The new ALTA opened the possibility for regional and domestic airlines, extra-regional airlines operating in Latin America and suppliers of different business areas to join the Association. With the expansion, ALTA included the Caribbean airlines and updated its name to Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association. In 2018, ALTA reached a new milestone with the establishment of its headquarters in Panama City, the restructuring of the team and vision, and subsequently the transformation of its corporate identity with the slogan ALTA on the move.
“ALTA is at the most sensitive moment of the industry in our history, but in the 40 uninterrupted years of work for the aviation industry, it has always dedicated its mission to advocate for the conditions that allow the continuous development of air transport in Latin America and the Caribbean. I am proud to see ALTA in constant evolution, with a team that agilely adapts to the new global challenges and to the needs of a market that does not stop innovating, that has more and more opportunities and, even so, the same mission: to serve the populations in a safe and efficient way, being responsible with the environment. ALTA has gone through different stages throughout these 40 years, has addressed different priorities and has managed to consolidate as a relevant association that brings value to a sector as important for the economy as aviation,” said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ALTA’s Executive Director & CEO.
Throughout its history, the Association has accompanied and supported its members in different circumstances such as the oil crisis, September 11, 2001, the financial crisis of 2008 and, currently, the most severe economic and financial crisis that the industry has faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As on previous occasions, the resilience of the industry will prevail. I am convinced that the industry will recover from this crisis, continue on its path of growth and bring economic and social welfare to the region. The sooner we need to ensure the implementation of urgent temporary measures that will relieve the costs of the industry and allow it to recover more quickly once the pandemic is over. In addition to a joint plan among all aviation stakeholders, governments, airports, airlines to define the key points of the industry retrieval and the confidence of our travelers to ensure that aviation and tourism can again drive economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean”, stressed de Oliveira.
The Latin American and Caribbean region has 16 consecutive years of growth in passenger traffic, mainly driven by a growing population moving by air within their countries. With improvements in connectivity and capillarity, aviation is increasingly connecting every corner of the region, even remote locations, creating more opportunities, commerce, tourism, and jobs. The industry-government work has been and will continue to be key to achieving this and, in the face of this unprecedented circumstance, more than ever the joint work will bear fruit for the well-being of our people.
ALTA is a private non-profit association serving the airline industry whose objective is to develop a safer, more efficient, and sustainable aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean. ALTA coordinates collaborative efforts throughout the entire value chain maximizing the impact that aviation has on the economic and social growth of the region for the benefit of industry, nations, and populations served by air transport.
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