4.4 billion People Moved By Airports In 2006
- By Professor Prabhu Guptara
- Published 03/27/2008
Professor Prabhu Guptara
Professor Prabhu Guptara is Executive Director, Organisational Development, Wolfsberg (a subsidiary of UBS - one of the largest banks in the world). He is also Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and Chartered Fellow of the of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; he is also Fellow: of the Institute of Directors, of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts Commerce and Manufactures; and he continues to supervise PhD research at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) as well as to be Visiting Professor at various Universities and Business Schools around the world.
Earlier roles include: a Governor of the Polytechnic of Central London, Member of the Council of the British Institute of Management, of the International Federation of Training & Development Organisations (IFTDO), of the Association for Management Education and Development (UK), of the South East Regional Council of the Confederation of British Industry.
Judge, 1988 National Training Awards, 1980 Commonwealth Poetry Prize, 1990 & 1991 Deo Gloria Prize for Fiction; Chair of the Panel of Judges, Deo Gloria Prize 1992 & 1993.
Experience with an enormous range of organisations including: Akzo Nobel (Netherlands), the Associated Banks Institute (Germany), Barclays Bank (UK), British Petroleum (UK), the Council of Europe, Cultor (Finland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Groupe Bull (France), Federation of Finnish Engineers (Finland), the International Management Association of Japan, Kemira (Finland), Kraft Jakob Suchard (Switzerland), Leadership Academy (Finland), Nokia Telecommunications (Finland), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), Sedgwick International Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers (UK), Singapore Institute of Management, Sonatrach (Algeria), Sun Alliance (UK), UNCTAD, Valeo (France), and so on.
Organiser, chair and lecturer by invitation for numerous international conferences, he has contributed widely to radio and television in the UK and other countries (The Money Program, Any Questions) and has written for Financial Times (London, UK), The Guardian, The Times and other publications; articles, for example, in The Gower Handbook of Management, The Gower Handbook of Quality, and the International Encyclopedia of Business & Management (Routledge).
A CD-ROM has been issued of his lecture at the Professorenforum, University of Zurich, titled "Making the World Better - Why it does NOT happen...and what TO DO about it"
Further information available from firstname.lastname@example.org
His best-known research publication is "Top Executives in the Global 100 Companies and their IT-Competence" (ADVANCE: Management Training Ltd., UK, and Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre, Switzerland, 1998); and he is included in Debrett's People of Today and in Who's Who in the World. Professor Prabhu Guptara lives in Switzerland.
That's the news from the Geneva-based Airports Council International (ACI), which has 1,640 airports operated by its members from 178 countries. Presumably at least a few airports are not members, so the number must be larger in fact....
But even if we take the figure provided by the ACI, it means that, on average last year, something like one out of every two people in the world took a flight somewhere.
I don't know if you have noticed, but the era of cheap air travel seems to be coming to an end. The airlines are trying their hardest to keep it cheap, but they do have to make money. And even when they offer a particular flight for nearly zero cost to the customer, fuel surcharges alone are higher now than the complete flight used to be not long ago.
My guess is that most people are still flying (1) because they feel they have to - e.g. on business;(2) because they have relatives that they feel they *must* visit - e.g. at a wedding or the birth of a child or a funeral; and (3) because they are not yet used to the idea of flying being too expensive - e.g. for holidays.
As the price of flights, but even more important now the *inconvenience* of flying because of flight delays and security measures, comes to rest in people's consciousness, more and more people are expressing a distaste with the idea of flying - though that does not seem to have dented the willingness of these folk to travel (I think that applies to me too, except in the case of holidays, when I have started to avoid travelling if at all possible).
Might we expect that, sooner rather than later, the love of flying (and the love of motor cars, which is associated) will drop dramatically?
Logically, one should think so. Yet there is a prophecy in the Bible that as the world speeds towards its end, travel will only increase and increase. Is it the case that people will refuse to adapt? Or that newer forms of travel will become possible technologically, due to which travel will become even cheaper, more hassle free and (extremely important) environmentally friendly?
I don't know. But I wouldn't bet against any prophecy in the Bible. It seems to have been proved too right over too many hundreds of years to tangle with it.
So I wait to see how this conundrum is resolved, between on the one hand the Biblical prediction that world travel will increase and increase, and on the other hand the reality of flights becoming more and more expensive, frustrating and (at least in the awareness of an increasing number of people) environmentally unacceptable.
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