Mr. de Juniac, IATA has supported the fuel-less flight of Solar Impulse around the world. What does that tell us about the potential of aviation?
Alexandre de Juniac: It gives us several messages. First of all, it tells us that aviation is at the cutting edge of innovation. Historically that always has been the case. We are paving the way for clean energy in transportation, for preserving our planet by using no-fuel energy. Secondly, it represents a symbol of hope that mankind can do things better. Thirdly, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have demonstrated that tenacity is absolutely key when pursuing an idea – or a dream. Remember: they started this project over twelve years ago.
What lessons do you extract from this for the airline industry?
de Juniac: The project Solar Impulse shows how we in this industry must be innovative, particularly to protect the environment and reduce CO2 emissions. It shows that this goal is achievable and we will do it. It makes us optimistic that what we are doing for the environment within IATA and in cooperation with ICAO will be successful. That’s very important because it is an enormous program that we have, based on commitments of all the stakeholders in the industry. We recognize that translating this achievement into solar-powered or even all-electric commercial transports is a challenge on a wholly different scale. But Solar Impulse shows that his industry is serious; when we make commitments and set targets, we stick to them.