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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Awaiting The Jury Decision On Amanda Knox's Appeal; AMR Corp. Shares Dives; Occupy Wall Street; Interview with Tyler Combelic; Safety Course
Aired October 3, 2011 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Good evening. Roughly 90 minutes from now and we are expecting a ruling in the murder case that happened in Italy but has captured viewers attention worldwide.
The American exchange student Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito are appealing against their convictions for murder. They say, and they said again today, that they did not kill Knox's roommate Meredith Kercher, in 2007. The British student was murdered at her house in Perugia, in Italy. Prosecutors say she had her throat cut and had been sexually assaulted.
Knox pleaded with the Italian jury early on Monday. She said she was paying with her life for a crime she didn't commit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA KNOX, DEFENDANT (through translator): I have not done the things that they are suggesting I have done. I haven't murdered. I haven't raped. I haven't stolen. I wasn't there. I wasn't present at the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, two judges, professional judges and six jurors have been considering the evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. A ruling is expected in, as I say, in just an hour and a half from now.
Becky Anderson is outside the courthouse in Perugia. Joins us live.
Let's first of all, let's go through facts of what you know and what- talk us through the next couple of hours, please, Becky.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, all right. OK, well, we heard the jury started deliberating at about 10:30 this morning. That was after we had heard these last pleas of innocence from Sollecito and from Knox. That was what some 10 odd hours ago. And we have now heard, had it confirmed, from the lawyers, both sides of this case that we will get the verdict at 9:30 local time. It is just after eight now. Highly charged, let me tell you, Richard, in this courtroom behind me.
And that is where, by the way, the jury have been deliberating all day. Started about 9 o'clock this morning, highly charged, very emotional. You heard from Amanda Knox. Sollecito, equally emotional, as they made what is known as an Italian justice spontaneous statement. Not so spontaneous, we are told, that Amanda not to have been thinking about what she would say. And let me tell you in faultless Italian for the last seven months. So they made their pleas. And they were taken away, once again, to prison where they have been now for four years.
We have heard from Paula Newton, at the prison, that even earlier today an Italian MP visited Amanda Knox. She was in really good form. She was very confident that the verdict, the decision the conviction against here, for brutal murder and sexual assault would be overturned by this appeal jury here, as you say. Eight of them, two of them professional judges, one of whom is the presiding judge here, Helman (ph). He is there to direct this jury of six lay people and two professionals. Not to tell them what to do, but we will find out what that decision is just about 90 minutes from now.
QUEST: As you look at the way the day has progressed. In variably there takes on an element of circus about this. It is a very serious matter and I'll be talking to Mark Ellis about that in a moment. But from where you are standing, tell me how the day has gone.
ANDERSON: Yes, it has been quite remarkable. It has was an absolute circus here. Outside the court earlier on today. Then things went slightly more quiet. And while it was quieter I got a chance to get out and about. And really get a sense of what was going on in the streets around this court. Have a look at this.
ANDERSON (on camera): As the jury continue their deliberations in the building behind me. I want to give you and idea what is happening out here on the streets of this medieval city, in Central Italy. Have a look over here, this is what I will describe as a media scrum, for you, there is no other word for it really.
These are the satellite trucks feeding media, both internationally and locally. Many of the world's television stations have been using this restaurant, taking it over, effectively not just to eat in but to use as their office, while they are here covering this trial.
The local media are over here and they have been watching every twist and turn of what has been going on. And there is an inquisitive audience, let's call it that. Many people here in Perugia, today, had no idea what was going on. Many said to me, what are you doing here? We let them know and they were surprised. There are others who are here because they are just intrigued by the whole proceedings.
But I wanted to find out what the impact on Perugia, of this has been since 2007. Have a listen to this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It kind of bothers me, because our city at the beginning was portrayed as a city of decadence. Sex and drugs, and it is not like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): For the people it has been negative. Too much media, too much attention, it is not a nice thing. After all, we are talking about a trial of a dead person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This trail is a big mess. There is not clarity between one side, nor from the other. And in doubt, they should be absolved. Perugia is a very quiet town. This thing has totally turned things upside down.
ANDERSON: All right. So that is the sense of feeling here. Most people in Perugia just want this to go away, which as you can imagine.
I believe, I can't see them myself, but I believe that you are looking at live pictures as we speak of-it is it Amanda Knox, leaving the prison? I'm being nodded to by my producer, here. Amanda Knox leaving the prison. It is about 40 minutes away.
We are waiting on that verdict, from the jury here, on her appeal. Will her conviction for murder and sexual assault be overturned in the next 80 or so minutes? Or will it be upheld, which means she will be returned straight to that prison to finish her sentence. It could be partially upheld, which means her sentence could be reduced. That she would have to still say in prison. If the sentence is overturned, Richard, you and I know she could be on a plane within hours back to Seattle, Washington, Richard.
QUEST: Becky Anderson, who will be throughout the course-Becky the moment there is more to report please come straight back. We'll take you in a moment, live.
Mark Ellis is with me from the International Bar Association, to understand some of the legal issues. We need to take this at a fair clip.
First, we know the range. They can be-the decision can be overturned, it can be affirmed, or the sentence can be-
MARK ELLIS, INTERNATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION: Modified.
QUEST: Modified. But the fact is we have two professional judges in six lay, assessors, if you like.
QUEST: So where does the balance of power lie in there?
ELLIS: I have to say it is up to those two professional judges to guide this discussion. They don't dictate to the other six lay jurors, but they guide it. And I think they'll guide it towards focusing on the evidence that has bee presented in this appeals case.
QUEST: It is very unusual in the sense that de facto they have retried the case, on the core evidence. It hasn't been an appeal on the facts, which is then remitted to be discussed-to be retried.
ELLIS: And that is how that appeals court gets this case; in essence, evidence that has come in, suggesting that the lower court made an error. And remember this is based on the fact that the court decided to bring in these two independent experts to look at the DNA evidence. Those experts said to the court, unreliable and inadmissible. That is powerful.
QUEST: OK, but is the test still the same? And by that I-one that you will be familiar with, I'm familiar with, which is this conviction unsafe? Are they still going for an unsafe test, or are they going for a beyond reasonable doubt test? Because it is a bit-there's a nuanced difference.
ELLIS: It is nuance, but in essence I think people could look at it either way. If you want to look at it unsafe, or if you look at whether there is a reasonableness to it. It is generally can be seen as the same. They will look at all the evidence. Even if they decide that the DNA evidence is inadmissible, unreliable. This court could still say, well all the other evidence suggests that the lower court got it right. And that will be the crucial point. Is the DNA evidence, is it so unreliable that this court says, no, the lower court got it wrong.
QUEST: There is a further appeal, of course, to basically the highest court, the supreme court, or (UNINTELLIGIBLE), but by the time we get to that stage you are in the realms of high law and-
ELLIS: You are exactly right. That high court, supreme court, Court of Cassation, really does focus on kind of the legal nuances here. This is the court that is crucial. This is the decision.
QUEST: Right. A huge amount of derogatory things have been said about the Italian legal system and the way it has handled this. Usually, prejudicial, from people who sort of always believe their own system is better than the one that they are looking at.
But when you look at how this appeal has been handled. Are you impressed, or do you find it wanting?
ELLIS: No, I think I'm impressed. Listen, any legal system has issues. And I suspect you could point to this legal system, as you could anywhere else. And you could bring up issues. But I think generally, the process seems to be quite fair. It is allowing these defendants to have a rehearing of these cases at the appellate level. I think that is pretty powerful.
QUEST: Are you comfortable with my last question, which is where currently, this evening, do you think the balance lies in the appeal?
ELLIS: I think the balance lies with the defense, because of that decision that the court made to bring in the two independent experts, review the DNA evidence. They say inadmissible, unreliable. That is pretty strong.
QUEST: We're going to go now, in 20 to 8. Stay with us. Many thanks indeed.
Paula Newton is outside, as we have complete coverage of what is taking place in Italy tonight. She is outside the prison housing Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
Paula, they have just left. We saw them, we'll show the pictures in a moment. They are on their way back to court. Is there a surreal feeling, the circus in town, out at the prison?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have been here before, Richard. This is exactly what happened last time, at this point, though, you know there was a real fatalistic attitude with both of them, and their families, the last time. They told us, point blank, they would wait until the appeal to see their day in justice, a day of justice, and today is it.
It was quite a day here. Raffaele Sollecito, in a prison that he is not normally used to. This is not where he normally is. He was left in a cell by himself. On the other hand, Amanda Knox, allowed to go into the prison chapel. She sang religious songs. Played songs all day and was with the chaplain here. She is said to be very confident that within a few hours she be on a plane back home to the United States, Richard.
QUEST: You have followed this case with enormous detail, haven't you, Paula, over the years? As you look at it tonight, where do you see the strengths and weaknesses?
HANCOCK: You know, what has been particularly in this entire case- and I can tell you having followed them in several countries, different kinds of cases, Richard, way too many people spoke to the media during all of this. Now, look, I sought as much information as anyone else. But I personally had a two and a half hour meeting with the prosecutor in this case. That just isn't done. And I think that what has lead to a lot of confusion and a lot of speculation in the media.
Why is that important? Because the six lay jurors, not to mention the two judges, are privy to everything that we say, everything that has been written, the made-for TV movie that has already aired, the books that have been written. And you wonder at any point in time, if anyone really is looking at that 400-page document, which is the original ruling that came out nearly two years ago now.
And it is difficult at this point to really imagine a jury that is able to sit there and concentrate just on those pages of evidence. Not to mention the fact that those pages of evidence are conflicting. Some people say the DNA is there to prove that they are guilty, other people say the DNA is confusing.
QUEST: Paula Newton who is at the prison for us, this evening.
An hour and 15 to go before we are expecting that verdict; Knox and Sollecito are on their way back to the courthouse.
The family, meanwhile, of the murdered British student Meredith Kercher, says that she is the forgotten victim in this case. And they were speaking earlier today in Perugia, where her sister says they will never forget the brutal way in which Meredith's life ended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE KERCHER, VICTIM'S SISTER: What everyone needs to remember, is what Mom and I were talking about earlier. There is the brutality of what actually happened that night. And violence, everything that Meredith must have felt that night, everything she went through, the fear and the terror. And not knowing why. And she didn't deserve that. No one deserves that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And the latest on the outcome of the appeal, and well, obviously, whatever else we will cover and however else, we move on, over the rest of this program, we will go back to Perugia, the moment there is more to report.
So, we will continue with out business agenda, for good reason. The quarter has started not with a whimper, but with a bang.
(DESK BELL CHIMES)
A thumping great big bang, it's the sound of shares going down. A sea of red, after the break.
QUEST: It may be a new quarter. It is the same old problems as traders step into the final quarter of the year. One is over Europe's debt problems and, once again, the markets took a great big start.
Join me at the super screen and you will see what I'm talking about. The actual markets are grim and were grim. We have-really you need to concentrate on the DAX, which was off 2.75 percent and for good reason. Just look at it over the course of the day. Even a small amount of buying at 4:00 o'clock failed to get anybody excited. It has just been one long session of misery. This is, by the way, the fourth straight session of losses for the FTSE. And the FTSE wasn't as badly affected
One thing I did notice, as I delved into the numbers today. Bank shares were hit hardest, RBS down 4 percent, Commerz was down 7.3. Soc Gen down 5, Credit Suisse down 4.6, also if you were to look into the components of the DAX and the CAC, in fact, all the major markets. You saw consumer cyclicals, were also heavily down, Renault, Goodyear, all these sort of things. And that tells us the people are worried about growth and what might happen. The Dow Jones industrials continuing that trend of broad-based index selling of 175, a fall of 1.6 percent.
There are specific factors in the U.S. market that we'll come to in just a moment concerning AMR, the parent company of American Airlines. We'll get to that in a moment. What has fueled the market that we've seen fueling it is the news that Greece has failed to get its spending under control. The Greek government yesterday admitted it won't hit the target for deficit reduction that it drew up with its bailout lenders.
Now it wasn't a huge amount. This year's budget deficit was expected to be 8.5 percent GDP. That is well above the agreed target of 7.8. So it is 0.7 difference. Not huge, but the trend is in the wrong direction. And if you look at next year's number, again, the forecast is still higher than where it was supposed to be. If the ECB, EC and IMF choose to not to provide the next bailout traunch, Greece is effectively committed to default on its debt by the end of the month.
The EU finance ministers are in Luxemburg and they are discussing Greece and the new power for the EFSF bailout fund. U.K. Finance Minister George Osborne will join them tomorrow. Today he was giving a dire warning at his party conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE OSBORNE, FINANCE MINISTER, BRITAIN: The Eurozone's financial fund needs maximum firepower. The Eurozone needs to strengthen its banks. And the Eurozone needs to end all the speculation. Decide what they are going to do with Greece and then stick to that decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Which, of course, is relatively easy for George Osborne, since he is not part of the Eurozone, speaking in Manchester. He also unveiled a new scheme to increase lending to U.K.'s small businesses. Today, S&P reaffirmed Britain's AAA rating. Saying he expects the U.K. government to follow through on its commitment. Britain is one of the few countries still left, I think it is 11 or 12 that has the gold plated AAA bond rating.
In a moment a visit to a super sized capital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (on camera): A huge city that promises to get even bigger. Mega Moscow, part of "Future Cities", after the break.
QUEST: Vladimir Putin calls it a suffocating city. Russia's prime minister and president-to-be knows Moscow is being stretched to the very brink. And he's not alone. Creaking infrastructure, clogged up roads; Europe's most popular city is groaning under the pressure. Everyone, from politicians to every day commuters, knows Moscow is still not big enough. And a bit like the Russian doll itself, it needs to expend. And the city's mayor thinks he has the right answer. Tonight, Moscow is our "Future City".
(DESK BELL CHIMES)
QUEST: Red Square, at the annual celebrations for Day of the City ring out across Moscow. The Russian capital is showing off its young, modern face, with footwear to match. Moscow is on the move, with a new mayor, who has close ties to the Kremlin, and a grand plan to bring the capital into the future.
This is Moscow now. Europe's most populated city, occupying 417 square miles. This is what it may look like in 20 year's time, double the size. Eventually government offices, universities, health centers and business will move out of the historic capital to a new area.
(On camera): The plans for Moscow are certainly ambitious. So I'm going to meet the deputy mayor to ask him why are they necessary.
DEPUTY MAYOR MARAT KHUSNULLIN, MOSCOW (on screen translation): The territory which Moscow occupies is not big enough to accommodate everyone who wants to live here. Because there is a problem with transport, and in order to raise the gross product of the region we need more space for development.
QUEST (on camera): Isn't the problem here, that this city, this plan, is extremely ambitious?
KHUSNULLIN: It is a very big and complicated project, but it's essential. Without this expansion Moscow will not be able to develop.
QUEST (voice over): The plain fact is, while Moscow has become too big for its existing infrastructure. It is not just a question of size. This plan radically changes the concept and shape of the city.
(On camera): The Kremlin is at the heart of Moscow. And the city has expanded from it's fortress walls. Think of it like a Russian doll. Each time Moscow has got bigger, and bigger, the concentric circles have got larger. The only problem is the expansion keeps going, but now it is not big enough.
(Voice over): Those concentric circles are the series of ring routes, which have gradually appeared at wider intervals from the Kremlin walls. Vast highways right in the center of the city, that are now so clogged with traffic, parts of Moscow are perpetually at a standstill.
MIKHAIL BLINKIN, TRAFFIC EXPERT (on screen translation): We need (TRANSLATION NOT VISIBLE) hit a real transportation collapse, and then we will learn.
QUEST: Public transport is Moscow's other weakness. Busses sit in traffic, along with cars. And while the imposing Stalin era metro system is impressive, it is not keeping up with demand or city growth.
KHUSNULLIN: We are building three metro lines in this territory. We are building separate lanes for public transport n al the highways.
QUEST: A drive out into the bland expansion zone and it is clear just how much work will have to be done. Just 30 kilometers outside Moscow, contrasts with life in the capital is striking.
At this church in the village of Letova (ph) we ask he parish priest how his community feels about the expansion.
FATHER DMITRY KUVYRTALOV, CATHEDRAL OF ARCHANGEL MICHAEL: On an every day level, some aspects of our way of life will change and of course, this always causes some concern about what will happen. I believe that if a person has Christ and inner peace, they can be happy under any circumstances.
QUEST: Back in the city center, most Muscovites are not happy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (TRANSLATION NOT VISIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a resident I don't see any point in expanding the city. What are the new territories really needed for?
QUEST: If there is one thing you learn in Moscow, is that you can't always see what is on the horizon. Gregori Yavlisnki, is a key opposition figure, and offered me an alternative view on the expansion plans.
GREGORI YAVLINSKY, LEADER, YABLOKO PARTY: Honestly I don't believe, even, the financial package.
I think that when president and many who believe, I'm afraid that everybody would forget, simply forget.
QUEST: For now, the future of the Russian capital is in the hands of these men. Their vision for a bigger Moscow.
QUEST: We'll be in Moscow, every week, every Monday, it is "Future Cities" and we are in Moscow right the way through the month of October.
Coming up next, it is a strike, not just any strike, in the very heart of capitalism. Demonstrators occupying Wall Street, the demonstrators occupying Wall Street. We'll meet the protestors trying to given downtown Manhattan a Tahir Square link.
CROWD CHANTING: Let us go! Let us go!
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
This is CNN. And the news always comes first here.
Straight to Perugia, where Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollito -- Sollecito -- are arriving from prison, where they are now attending the courthouse. These are live pictures coming to us at CNN.
An Italian court is getting ready to issue its decision in the Knox appeal. The court has already said that a ruling will be issued roughly an hour from now.
Now, a few moments ago, Knox was driven away from the prison where she's serving 26 years. She has maintained her innocence throughout.
Also, Raffaele Sollecito is also now in the courthouse. He spent the same -- the day at the same prison as Knox.
We're told by those who were at the prison that Amanda Knox spent the day in chapel with members of clergy and singing hymns.
The appeal basically rests on evidence of the DNA of the murder of Meredith Kercher and whether that DNA evidence was on -- was tainted during the investigation.
The decision from the ruling jury in an hour from now.
A Libyan official says the Transitional Council will declare the country liberated if revolutionary forces gain a victory in the city of Sirte, the hometown of the ousted leader, Moammar Gadhafi, is one of but a handful of Libyan cities where fighting persists.
Bright orange flames, dark smoke and all out of a chemical plant in the U.S. state of Texas. The fire is devouring the building and tankers. Everyone at the Magnablend facility is said to be safe. A nearby college and elementary school were also evacuated.
The Nobel Foundation says that the prize in medicine will still go to Ralph Steinman, even though he died just before the honor was announced and the rules say the prize can't be awarded posthumously. Steinman actually battled his own cancer with a treatment he designed and extended his life. The other half of the award went to Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann.
EU finance ministers are discussing the possibility of leveraging the Eurozone's bailout fund at the meeting in Luxembourg. One idea is that the fund might be used as collateral for the European Central Bank. The British finance minister, George Osborne, will join the meeting tomorrow and says the fund needs maximum financial power.
We may have entered the fourth quarter, but the headache of the previous three is still very much with us. And today, there was sharp evidence of that. Shares in AMR, the parent of American Airlines, are down more than 30 percent in New York -- 30 percent for America's third largest carrier.
Alison Kosik is in New York.
Look, I mean the gist of it is, a rumor that AMR is going into bankruptcy.
What's the truth of all of this?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know what, the truth of it is really hard to come by right now. But all you need is a rumor to get those shares really selling. And what's happening, Richard, is you're seeing pilots by the hundreds retiring all at once. And what they're doing is they're getting their -- they're cashing in their shares at an August 1st price, which is at a 28 percent premium than what the close was on Friday.
And -- and that's part of the reason why you're seeing the shares take -- take a big hit. Look, you have to look at the airline industry as a whole here.
American Airlines is the only one of the major carriers that -- that hasn't had a dance partner. And now American is in the weakest position financially, because all of these other major carriers merged or restructured during the financial crisis.
Look at Delta. It tied up with Northwest. United merged with Continental.
So what you have here is a American essentially the last man standing. It's more vulnerable because it's also got a higher cost structure, not to mention its higher labor costs and its higher -- its higher maintenance costs. American is -- is really one of the only major carriers that doesn't outsource its maintenance. So that's really weighed on -- on its bottom line, as well.
And then you look at American, it lost money in the second quarter while its rivals made money. And now we're in an economic downturn. So what you're seeing, Richard, is American in a lot of trouble -- Richard.
QUEST: All right, Alison Kosik is in New York.
AMR, come back to us when there's some more to report on that.
If there's turmoil on the Stock Exchange, on the market itself, well, outside the building, things are a little -- a little testy, a little hot under the collar there. For three weeks, protesters have been camped in the heart of the world's financial capital. The goal is to occupy Wall Street and they vow to stay.
Maggie Lake is in Lower Manhattan with the protesters.
What do they want?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They want to change the political discourse, basically, Richard.
There are a lot of grievances being represented here. But this really sums it up -- tax the rich 90 percent. A lot of people feel they've been left out of the process, their voice isn't being heard.
I want to show you, this the headquarters. This is the park that the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken over. The sort of heart of it is inside, where they're live streaming, the food, the sort of center of it is. And out here, on the outskirts, you could say, is the heart. You can see musicians, local musicians have stopped by. They just stopped playing.
And you can see all the tourists, local businesspeople out on lunch stopping by to find out what's going on. And that's what this is all about, trying to get the word out.
Now, this started out as loosely organized, really sort of grassroots. But it's shifted a bit in an important way.
I want to bring in Tyler Combelic, who -- who is part of it.
Tyler, you've been getting a lot more support from organized labor.
What difference has that made?
TYLER COMBELIC, OCCUPY WALL STREET: It's made a world of difference. Having the (AUDIO GAP)...
QUEST: Oh, dear.
Well, we seem to have -- we seem to have lost Maggie.
QUEST: Oh, well. Well, never mind. I guess the moment we get to the -- the meat of it, Maggie Lake disappears. Maybe we'll get her back.
Any sign of Maggie back, though?
Apparently not. If we do get Maggie back, then we'll return to that and she'll discuss more about what that protest is all about. It might help if we paid the bills.
The aviation industry could be in for a tailspin. On this program in a moment, not only the financial side, but we'll tell you how to survive a crash, economic or real. We'll show you the secrets of playing safety.
And the new head of IATA speaks to us about things in aviation.
QUEST: And Maggie Lake is still in Lower Manhattan. And, hopefully, well, really, Maggie, I don't know. These protesters and the gremlins get in the works...
LAKE: You know...
QUEST: -- if those -- it's those capitalists...
LAKE: Yes. You know what...
QUEST: -- it's those capitalists...
LAKE: Yes, Richard, we are still having some technical difficulties so I'm going to just let you know what's happening.
As we said, an important shift going on. Some organized labor, MoveOn.org, starting to get behind -- offer some technical and -- and financial support here. The numbers much smaller than the weekend, we have to say, where thousands showed up. Of course, it's a work week. As lunch came, more people showed up.
They say, though, that it doesn't matter how many people are here (AUDIO GAP).
QUEST: There you are. It just shows you pays your money, you takes your choice.
We thought it was worth having another go. Late night never strikes twice. It got bitten twice and there we are.
Well, now, traffic is tailing off. The entire sector shifting down a gear. And IATA, the airline association, says there's not much hope on the horizon for an aviation recovery. The trade group's latest traffic report says passenger numbers are gaining, but not as quickly as before and the trend is now down.
There was a 4.5 percent rise in August, compared to 6 percent in the previous month. It's all rather worrying, especially in cargo, which, of course, shows what's happening in industry. Cargo is falling faster and faster, with a 3.8 percent decline last month.
But with the weak economic climate, IATA says there's little hope of an improvement. It could lead to a big fall in profits, if any profits are made at all, especially with oil at $100 a barrel.
So, let's talk to Tony Tyler, the IATA director general, who joined me earlier.
He's a former Cathay Pacific boss.
He started in July.
And I asked him, this time around, is the best times were behind us.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
TONY TYLER, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, IATA: Well, I think we've certainly seen the best for the time being, and we're going to see a decline from here on in. But remember, we're looking here at the global picture and there certainly are some regions and airlines in some regions doing quite well. But obviously, we've got to say, it has been, as you -- as you put it, a tepid recovery, at best.
QUEST: So what needs to be done, because all -- there's not much that can be done with oil prices at their current high levels and where over $100 a barrel is likely to be...
TYLER: We're fore...
QUEST: You've already...
TYLER: -- we're forecasting $100 a barrel for the next year.
QUEST: Right. For, what, for the next 12 months?
So you'd better get used to that. There's not much you can do about staff costs. There's not a lot you can do about en route charges.
So when you take it all overall -- and there's no pricing pressure yet, certainly now, in the market.
TYLER: It's going to be a difficult time for airlines. And I'll tell you, what we've got to do is what we've been doing over many year, manage their costs and optimize their revenues. In a -- in a weak and uncertain world economy, there's going to be very challenging.
On the cargo side, particularly, we're seeing weakness now, which, if cargo is a leading indicator of...
TYLER: -- of the rest of the business, as it has proved in the past, then I think airlines have every reason to be cautious.
QUEST: Is it still the view that there are too many airlines chasing too few passengers?
Because as I look at the numbers, capacity is slowly increasing, but traffic isn't increasing as much to accommodate that. So once again, more seats are going into the market.
But ultimately, what fuels them?
TYLER: It's an intensely competitive business and there are -- there are -- there are a lot of airlines. It's a very fragmented business. That makes it very competitive. It makes it very difficult for airlines to generate even capital. And, of course, airlines have to make decisions on capacity years in advance. When you order an aircraft, if you want to order A-320s, I gather that you -- you'll -- you'll get a delivery some time in 2019. I mean you're -- you're making decisions a long way in advance. And I think we do a very good job, as an industry, of managing short-term capacity issues. But long-term, it's very difficult.
QUEST: IATA. And as you start your -- your director-generalship of IATA, what do you want to do over the next few years?
Where would you -- where do you want to take the organization?
What's your real goal?
I suppose, what did you tell them when you applied for the job?
TYLER: Well, I -- I believe aviation, and the airline business, in particular, is a huge force for good in the world. You know, we -- we make the world a smaller place. We facilitate trade. We facilitate business. We bring families together. We're a -- we're a -- we're a great thing for the world.
Unfortunately, the world doesn't always appreciate us. In a way, I want to make sure that the message I give is that we can help economic growth. We're -- we're not something -- we're not an entity that should be seen as a target for just for taxation or for regulation. We should be seen as an opportunity to develop the world, to develop growth, to bring hard pushed economies back into the growth situation.
And that -- that's what I'd like to see.
There are a few specific things. I'd very much like to see IATA play a -- a leading role in sorting out actually around the world. The way passengers are processed through security currently is -- is a -- is a model that doesn't work anymore and we need to make it work better.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: That's Tony Tyler, the director-general of IATA.
I'm so used to him -- in the days when he was chief executive of Cathay Pacific. But he is now D.G. of IATA.
Now, speaking of traveling, last week we showed you the first delivery of the 787 Dreamliner. A pair of tickets for the inaugural A&A flight has been auctioned on eBay. Nearly $31,000 -- $31,000 at Facebook.com/cnn/quest. There you are. You can see what else they're getting with those tickets. CNN -- Facebook.com/cnn/quest.
Thirty-one thousand. Knowing my luck, I'd get a cheap economy ticket and Jenny Harrison would be sitting next to me in the middle seat, no doubt...
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Ah.
QUEST: -- knowing Miss. Harrison, all ready to talk all the way, 13 hours across the Pacific.
HARRISON: Yes. I do...
QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) the Pacific -- Jenny?
HARRISON: Oh, yes.
QUEST: Nasty weather there.
HARRISON: Oh, very good, Richard.
A very nice segue there. Yes, I would love to see it. Yes. I'd like to (INAUDIBLE) for that long.
I'd love to badger (ph) for you that long.
OK, I'm now going to talk to you, as you said, about conditions in the Northwest Pacific. Now, this is Tropical Storm Nalgae we've been talking this for the last several days. And you'll remember, of course, it headed across the Philippines. I'll talk about that in a little while.
But you can see that it's already having quite an impact on Hainan, Central Vietnam. The winds are not as strong as they were. They're sustained right now at just over 80 kilometers per hour. And it is going to continue to weaken as it heads, as you can see, eventually on toward Central Vietnam.
But the wind is never really the main issue. We are going to see, also, some very high and dangerous seas with this system and some big gusts in there, as well. But it's going to be the rain. And look at the rain that's coming in. And the system also is going to be slowing down. That's never good news. It has longer to deposit the heavy rain.
But have a look at these three systems in the last several weeks. And remember that Nesat and Nalgae literally four days later. And the crossing point was almost exactly the same point, the landfall point, in the Northern Philippines and Hainan, impacting much of South Vietnam. So very heavy rains there.
This is why there's such a serious problem across this region with the widespread flooding.
Now, already, in the last seven or eight days now, Hainan has seen over half a meter of rainfall. And the central areas of Vietnam have seen over 300 millimeters. And, of course, there is more to come.
The last 24 hours, 163, one of the highest recorded to the little island nation here in the South China Sea. And again, 128 millimeters into Vietnam.
So this is what we're going to see in the next 48 hours, easily another 150 millimeters. And, of course, as it gets closer to Vietnam, so the rains will increase there. So we are expecting more widespread flooding, and, of course, always a danger of landslides and mudslides.
It's been a very busy last few weeks and people have been asking if it's a very, very busy season. We'll remember, the Northwest Pacific tropical season lasts all year long. And normally at this point in the year, there's about, on average, 19 storms. Well, this year, we've already had 18. So we're pretty much on track.
Now, out into the Atlantic, you can see we're watching Tropical Storm Ophelia, very soon to lose its tropical characteristics But it's not really one with just yet, because it's going to continue cross the Northern Atlantic and guess what?
It's going to actually head across regions of the northwest of Europe, which really means the UK.
Now, this means some furious weather across Central and Southern Europe for the last week now. The rain has really pretty much continued across Scotland and Ireland, it has to be said. But the showers are a little bit lighter in nature the last 12 hours. The winds are fairly brisk. And it will stay quite windy, too, across Northern Europe, particularly, of course, with the remnants of Ophelia coming in.
But look at Monday's high temperature -- 27 in London. Sixteen is the average. It is going to change, though, as the system comes in, high pressure will sink southward, the rain will come in, the winds will pick up. And look at the temperatures by Thursday. It will be dry, but 15 Celsius in London. And then in Paris, rain on Thursday with 17 there, as you can see. The clearing skies, I'm afraid, diminishing. But even so, not bad. You've got 20 Celsius in London.
So you can't complain, really -- Richard.
But I know you will.
QUEST: I can't -- and, thank you.
And you can barely keep your -- your glee at the falling temperatures out of your voice, Miss. Harrison.
HARRISON: It's been cold here, you see. That's what it is.
QUEST: Yes. So spread the misery.
All right, many thanks, Jen.
Jenny Harrison at the World Weather Center.
Now, brace yourself. When you and I come back together after this break, hands on with airline safety, I amount.
QUEST: Well, they describe it as a safety course. Some of us might describe it as a crash course for crash landings for British Airways' preferred customers. From next year, members of BA's Executive Club will be able to book a four hour safety lesson. It's designed to teach what to do the right thing if the wrong thing happens.
Now, of course, they are currently doing these things already for corporate executives' events and staff.
Here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, you don't need to be a preferred customer of any airline to get in on the action. The course has been available to staff and corporate customers for some time.
And a couple of years ago, I took this very course. And now you can get a sneak preview on what happens when things go wrong and what you can do.
QUEST (voice-over): The B.A. flight training center is used by all the airline's 3,000 pilots and 14,000 members of cabin crew to train and refresh safety equipment procedures, or SEPs.
COMPUTER SIMULATED VOICE: In the event of landing on water, remove the life jacket from the container and pull it over your head. Pass the tapes around your waste and tie them securely in a double bow at the side.
QUEST: After an introduction in the classroom, this is where the course really begins -- in a simulator, embarking on what feels like any other flight. We know something is about to happen. We're all eyes and ears.
COMPUTER SIMULATED VOICE: Thank you for your attention.
COMPUTER SIMULATED VOICE: This is the captain. This is an emergency. Grace. Grace.
UNIDENTIFIED PASSENGERS: Grace. Grace. Grace.
COMPUTER SIMULATED VOICE: This is an emergency. Evacuate. Evacuate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfasten your seatbelts. Come deplane. Unfasten your seatbelts. Come deplane. Go to the rear of the aircraft. Unfasten your seatbelts. The rear door is jammed. Go forward. The rear door is jammed. Move forward.
JENNY EDMONDSON, B.A. SAFETY COURSE DIRECTOR: Go that way. Go that way. Go that way. Go that way.
EDMONDSON: Go that way. Go that way.
EDMONDSON: Go that way. Go that way. Forward cabin check.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rear cabin check.
EDMONDSON: Jenny leaving the aircraft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aircraft clear.
QUEST: By continually shouting "Grace," the crew ensure we stay in the safest position until the plane finally stops.
After our simulated emergency landing, we're back on board for a debrief. The top three points that everyone believed were most useful, learning the correct brace position, making sure your seatbelt is not twisted and that the oxygen masks will only come down when pressure is lost and not in a fire.
The course doesn't just go through the important basics, it's a hands- on experience.
(on camera): Put head through hole.
ANDY CLUBB, B.A. SAFETY COURSE DIRECTOR: First and foremost, remember, this is purely for training. You would never do this inside an aircraft. You would only inflate this outside the aircraft.
Look, could you read out the instruction on that jacket?
QUEST: Jerk to inflate.
CLUBB: Jerk to inflate.
QUEST: We learned how to open the over wing emergency exits correctly.
It is heavy.
If you ever get to the aircraft doors before the cabin crew, you'll also know what to do.
So now we are prepared as best we can.
But there may come a time when it's time to leave the plane, through the door and down the slide.
(voice-over): We're wearing overalls for this exercise to prevent friction burns on the way down. We receive a briefing at the bottom of the slide.
We have the luxury of taking our time. We get an idea of what it's like before we actually jump.
EDMONDSON: OK. Lean forward. Excellent.
QUEST: There are strict rules about how the slide must deploy. It must unfurl in winds of up to 28 miles an hour in just six seconds, whatever the temperature.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: And I can tell you, going down those slides is a lot more difficult than it looks.
We'll be back after the break.
QUEST: Finally from us tonight, allow me to recap the main story of the day.
An Internet court in Perugia is getting ready to issue its decision in the Amanda Knox appeal. The court says the ruling will be issued just around 30 minutes from now.
This is the scene in the courthouse, live pictures from inside the courtroom as lawyers, family and no sign of the two convicted students. The American exchange student, Amanda Knox, and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, they are both appealing against their convictions in the 2007 murder of the British student, Meredith Kercher.
Their appeal has largely been based on questioning the DNA evidence of blood that was found at the scene. A jury of eight, two professional judges and six lay assessors have hear their appeal and have said they will decide in the next 30 minutes.
A short while ago, Amanda Knox arrived -- left prison and arrived at the prison, along with Sollecito in a separate van.
We now await the decision.
And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.
I'm Richard Quest in London.
Because the news never stops, neither do we.
This is CNN.