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GENEVA: August 20, 2019. IATA says its home country air transport industry could generate an additional 36,000 jobs and nearly CHF13 billion in extra GDP for the nation’s economy by 2037.

IATA says to maximise employment opportunities created by a successful air transport industry, Switzerland should expand Zurich and Geneva airports, without additional restrictions on night flights, and support the UN Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

SWISS LAXCurrently the industry supports nearly 207,000 jobs, (including those at IATA in Geneva), and contributes CHF 27.7 billion or 4.1 percent to Switzerland’s GDP.

By maximizing the opportunities, IATA sees a rosy future for Swiss air transport. Conversely, 13,000 jobs could be lost if its recommendations are not adopted and the Swiss Council of States agree a carbon tax of CHF12 per passenger.

IATA claims 3,000 jobs would be lost if the tax is applied instead of adopting CORSIA which, it declares, would “help reduce Swiss aviation emissions by around 2.7 million tons per year”.

“The real value of aviation is not in the taxes it generates for governments. It is in the jobs and economic growth that flying generates. Environmental taxes are an ineffective tool to address aviation's environmental impacts,” said IATA head Alexandre de Juniac.

CORSIA has been applied to international flights to and from Switzerland since January 01, 2019 and is mandatory for all airlines, whether they are registered in Switzerland or abroad.

“The Swiss government should focus on encouraging investment in sustainable fuels and more efficient air traffic control routes, rather than a passenger tax. Scrapping the tax proposal and ensuring that the nation’s airports operate efficiently will ensure air transport delivers even greater benefits to Switzerland in the years to come,” argued Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional vice president for Europe.

In July Swiss International Airlines carried 1.9 million passengers - up 6.4 percent over the same month in 2018 - and operated more than 14,000 flights, 6.6 percent more year-on-year.

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