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Mon, 16 November 2020

Asia Pacific Airlines Strive for Greater Collaboration with Governments

The Assembly of Presidents of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) together with IATA and Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific, issued a joint declaration on Monday, highlighting their commitment to ensure the continued safety of aviation as well as reviving air travel.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing global COVID19 pandemic that has severely affected air travel and tourism this year, the declaration expresses firm support for ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) guidance which is the basis of the aviation industrys risk mitigation measures aimed at safeguarding the safety and well-being of air travellers.

In addition to the joint declaration, the AAPA Assembly of Presidents issued a number of resolutions addressing various industry priorities.

Parked aircraft at Suvarnabhumi Int. Airport near Bangkok, Thailand Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The Assembly views the setting up of a robust international testing framework, based on mutually-recognised accredited facilities delivering rapid, accurate, affordable and scalable testing prior to departure, coupled with other risk mitigation measures recommended by ICAO, as an effective approach to safely restart international air travel.

Blanket quarantine measures are a significant deterrent to air travel, and the Assembly calls for these to be reviewed in the context of suitable risk mitigation measures.

Reaffirming the industrys commitment to environmental sustainability, the Assembly of Presidents also renewed their call on governments to respect the integrity of ICAO CORSIA and refrain from applying duplicative requirements on international aviation CO2 emissions, as well as to support the use of sustainable aviation fuel, so that the industry can reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Noting that a broad framework conducive to the early restart and recovery of aviation is urgently needed, AAPA called on governments to refrain from increasing the burden of aviation levies in any form and to support Asia Pacific airlines as they face unprecedented financial and operational challenges due to the prolonged grounding of international aviation.

The ICAO CART guidelines established earlier this year provide practical guidance to governments and industry to restart aviation and recover from COVID19 in a coordinated manner, while keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of the travelling public as a top priority. Inconsistent and patchy measures create unpredictability and confusion for both travellers and airlines, while hampering the meaningful restart of cross border air transport, said Mr. Subhas Menon, Director General of AAPA. The prolonged closure of borders has had deep and lasting effects on the public and the wider economy. It has now become critical to improve collaboration and cooperation across borders so as to mitigate further damage and jump start recovery efforts. Asia Pacific airlines are firmly committed to working with governments and other stakeholders to rebuild passenger confidence and pave the way for the meaningful recovery of travel and tourism as essential services supporting commerce and livelihoods within the region and across the world.

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) - State of the Industry with Subhas Menon, DG

Subhas Menon, Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), gives a virtual media briefing on the state of the industry via Zoom on 16 November 2020.

Traditionally, this state of the industry briefing would take place at the AAPA Assembly of Presidents which last year was supposed to be in Hong Kong and this year in Fukuoka, Japan. Sadly, the 2019 event was cancelled because of the increasingly unpredictable and violent protests in Hong Kong at that time, and this year could not be held due to COVID19. The AAPA Assembly of Presidents is next supposed to take place in Thailand - hosted by Thai Airways International - in November 2021.

The last AAPA state of the industry media briefing to take place in person was in 2018 in Jeju, South Korea. You can watch the video of that media briefing, and others here: Asia Pacific Aviation Industry Update - AAPA Assembly of Presidents 2018.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, AAPA.

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