60th AAPA Assembly of Presidents Gets
Underway in Manila, Philippines
[HD video below] With Asia Pacific
already established as the world's largest air transport market
and the rise of Asia destined to continue long term, there is good
cause for optimism amongst delegates gathering on Thursday and
Friday of this week for the 60th
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Assembly of Presidents
meeting in Manila, Philippines.
At the same time, the region's
airline leaders are acutely aware of shorter term geopolitical instabilities, the rise of more cautionary attitudes towards globalisation and free trade, and potential oil price increases.
There is a determination to address numerous obstacles that
represent a persistent threat to achieving short-term
profitability and long-term potential.
sustainability represents one area of notable progress, with Asia
Pacific airlines welcoming the recent agreement at the 39th ICAO
Assembly for the implementation of a Carbon Offsetting & Reduction
Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) with effect from 2020.
That landmark agreement by representatives of 191 governments is
the first to be put in place for any global industry sector.
Airlines from the region have a long-established reputation for
investing in new generation aircraft technology that reduce CO2
emissions, which is a key element of the industry's four pillar
strategy that also includes development of alternative fuels,
operations and infrastructure improvements, together with a
comprehensive global market-based measure scheme.
airlines are fully committed to ensuring that air travel remains
environmentally sustainable, whilst achieving growth in global
connectivity commensurate with the region's development. The
industry reiterates however the need for investments in related aviation
infrastructure, including airport runways, terminals and air
navigation services, with governments and private enterprise
working closely together.
The Asia Pacific air transport
industry will see record numbers of passengers travelling, and is
expected to remain profitable overall in 2016, but many carriers
still face fiercely competitive conditions that impinge on
financial performance, regardless of business model. These
pressures underscore the need for all airlines to carefully review
their fleet and network development plans, whilst maintaining a
tight rein on costs.
Asian carriers carry around 40% of global air
cargo volumes, but continue to find rates depressed, following a
prolonged period of weakness in global trade. With increasing
volumes of freight being carried in the bellies of passenger
aircraft, operators of dedicated freighter aircraft are under
particular pressure, given surplus capacity still in the market.
Asia Pacific airlines have maintained the very highest
standards of safety over the past year and remain in a state of
constant vigilance at all operational levels. This requires
continued close cooperation between airlines, regulators and other
stakeholders in setting standards, and delivering further safety
However, AAPA says it remains concerned about variations in
the level of safety oversight, where airlines find themselves
subject to restrictions or operating bans imposed by other
countries, simply due to a lack of effective national regulatory
oversight in line with accepted international standards. The ICAO 'No Country Left Behind' campaign
aims to address disparities in the quality of regulatory oversight
amongst different states through improved implementation and
Other key industry issues under consideration
at this year's Assembly of Presidents include security, passenger
facilitation, taxes & charges and responding to health pandemics.
"With its vibrant airline sector, booming tourism levels and
rapidly growing passenger traffic, the Philippines epitomises the
energy and long term optimism that surrounds the entire Asia
Pacific industry," said Mr.
Andrew Herdman, Director General of
the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. "Many of the challenges
that face the industry in achieving its full potential across the
region are extremely pertinent in the local context and I
sincerely hope that high level deliberations at this year's
Assembly of Presidents meeting will contribute to the continued
long term success of the air transport industry in the Philippines
and the rest of the Asia Pacific region." He concluded, "Asia
Pacific airlines will continue to play an important role in
shaping the future of the global aviation industry."
AAPA 60th Assembly of
Presidents - Opening Press Conference
Mr. Andrew Herdman, Director General of
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), gives us a very
thorough and in-depth look at the aviation industry within Asia