Air China is now twice the size of both U.S.'s Delta Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa. "The world is changing in aviation, and it's changing very, very quickly," IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani recently stated at a news conference in Geneva. "Rapidly developing markets are shifting the industry's center of gravity to the East."
The Geneva-based group representing some 230 carriers and 93 percent of scheduled air traffic said the outlook is bright for Asia. A rapidly expanding middle class in Asia along with growing demand for air links between the continent's 15 mega-cities, with over 10 million inhabitants in each, promise strong industry profits in the region, Bisignani said. If "archaic ownership rules" in the United States were changed, the industry might soon see the first takeover of a U.S. carrier by an Asian airline, he added.