"Flying is not the enemy," IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said on a conference call with the media Tuesday morning. "Flying allows people to connect. It's a great achievement that makes our world a better place. The real enemy is carbon."

Sure to be a major topic at the ICAO Assembly is CORSIA, the carbon reduction, and offsetting scheme. CORSIA aims to cap airline emissions on international flights at 2020 levels. Airlines with emissions that exceed that level will be required to purchase carbon-offset credits. The scheme goes into effect in 2021.