IATA Director General Tony Tyler made the remarks Friday on the Eastern European Aviation Day, Xinhua reported.
The event attended by over 150 representatives from the aviation sector focused on identifying key areas of potential in the sector in the region.
"Figures show us the direct impact of aviation and they are very important," the IATA head said.
In Romania, aviation supports 75,000 jobs and one billion euros of GDP, in Hungary 48,000 jobs and 1.1 billion euros, in Bulgaria 140,000 jobs and 1.7 billion euros and in Poland 84,000 jobs and two billion euros, he said.
Tyler said the figures only represent the surface effect, and aviation has played a much more intense role in helping eastern Europe integrate into the European economy in these years.
He said a challenge of aviation is related to profitability. The profit rate of European air companies was 1.3 percent in 2013, compared to 0.7 percent in 2012.
Airlines in Europe were making only 2.2 dollars in profit by each passenger they carried in 2012 -- equivalent to the cost of a cup of coffee.