The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) concluded its 60th annual Assembly of Presidents meeting in Manila today, hosted by Philippine Airlines, with its members agreeing on key resolutions covering safety oversight, security, environment, passenger facilitation, taxes and charges, and health pandemics.
The 16 member association noted that the economically dynamic and increasingly outward looking nature of the Asia Pacific region provides good cause for its carriers to maintain a broadly optimistic outlook on the future of the industry. It cautioned however that barriers imposed by governments continue to threaten short-term profitability and maximum potential in the long-term.
AAPA said it remains resolute in its determination to confront these barriers and help deliver a more efficient industry that benefits their passengers. With no signs of traffic growth slowing despite global economic uncertainties and geopolitical instabilities, it is critical that such long-standing obstacles are finally removed.
Leaders of AAPA member carriers focused on a number of diverse issues, all of which are seen as serious obstacles to industry development in Asia and around the world.
On the aviation and the environment, Asia Pacific carriers have a long established reputation for investing in new generation aircraft that reduce CO2 emissions and as a result, have good reason to celebrate the recent signing of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) agreement that will come into force in 2020.
Key to its success will be ensuring that governments carry through with full support for the agreement to achieve global reach and minimise competitive market distortions. In addition, governments need to specifically commit to aviation infrastructure investments that keep pace with demand growth and environmental targets.
AAPA remains deeply concerned about safety oversight in the region, where carriers can sometimes find themselves subject to restrictions or even banned from operating to other countries, due to a lack of effective national regulatory oversight in line with accepted international standards.
As a result, the Association is re-iterating its call on governments to respect the primacy of ICAO standards and strongly support the ‘No Country Left Behind’ campaign which aims to address disparities in the quality of regulatory oversight amongst different states through improved implementation and compliance.
In addition, AAPA remains opposed to the unilateral imposition of extra-territorial measures and operating restrictions, where airlines can find themselves being held responsible for the shortcomings of their national regulatory authorities.
Balancing the needs of passenger facilitation with security is a key issue where some government measures affect customer satisfaction and airline operations. Governments need to fundamentally rethink policies that should aim to strike a more reasonable balance between passenger facilitation and aviation security, such that unnecessary inconvenience and delays are minimised.
In addition to resolutions on these critical issues being adopted at the conclusion of the 60th Assembly of Presidents in Manila today, AAPA is making renewed calls on governments to avoid the imposition of unjustified taxes, and for much improved collaboration with the World Health Organisation in managing the impact of health pandemics, including Zika.