I was reading Time Magazine on the flight home from Inter Airport — political discord in Turkey, ambushes in Afghanistan, suicide bombers in Bali … not to mention the incredible devastation created by Mother Nature in our own backyard. Then there is the aviation industry, it seems we have come to exist on sufferance. Currently, I feel like I am going through déjà vu … or should I call it déjà flu? With the Avian flu flying at our heels it’s like going back to 2003 all over again. The outbreak of SARS over nine months in 2003 is estimated to have cost the travel industry about $8 billion worldwide, even though that disease never reached pandemic status. On a positive albeit Lilliputian note, the international crude oil price fell to $55.41 a barrel the last day of October, down 11.74 percent from its all-time high of $62.78 a barrel on September 1.
I apologize, my aim is not to depress … and this may seem like a non sequitur, but when discussing the GSE industry with all of you over the past couple of years, it is agreed that in just about every part of the world, in one way or another, we are commonly referred to as the “red-headed step child,” the “after-thought,” the last in the industry to receive legislative assistance, funding, or recognition. Yes, this is a rather small, niche industry.
Though we are treated as such and though it may never be obvious to the rest of the industry, no less the rest of the world, I can proudly and emphatically state, through all of the turmoil existing in the world and within our own industry for that matter, Ground Handling, GSE and the ramp form the “launching pad” for the development and continuation of international commerce and political and cultural exchange. Were it not for us, passengers would not enplane, aircraft would not be fuelled or pushed back toward the runway, ULDs would not be loaded, etc.
In addition, in speaking with many of you throughout the past year, though there are still hurdles, in fact, will always be hurdles; 2005 has been a positive growth year for most of you, leaving me with the hope that 2006 will continue to pull us in that direction.
With that, I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and look forward to spending time with you in 2006.
As always, thanks for reading!