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Global economic slowdown eroding profitability of aviation industry: AAPA

Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], Nov 25: The aviation industry is entering a challenging phase with strategic development and profitability being threatened by a slowing global economy, political uncertainties and a multiplicity of operational constraints, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said on Monday.

However, Asia Pacific carriers have developed an outstanding reputation for effectively and flexibly responding to challenges over many decades. As a result, they are at the forefront of the global air transport industry.

“The emergence of Asia as a powerhouse driving the global economy during the 21st century naturally creates a sense of optimism for the region’s dynamic air transport industry in the long term,” said AAPA Director-General Andrew Herdman.

“However, success cannot be automatically assured without robust efforts to support carriers who continue to face an ever-increasing number of challenges to achieving strategic development and growth,” he said.

“Given the significant contribution that air transport makes towards wider economic and social development, governments need to adopt a much more positive attitude towards the industry, and work meaningfully towards removing obstacles that hinder the sustainable growth of the industry.”

Set against this demanding backdrop, leaders of AAPA member carriers gathered at the 63rd AAPA Assembly of Presidents meeting here on November 22 focused on a number of important issues seen as obstacles to industry development in the Asia Pacific region and around the world. In particular, the assembly passed resolutions on environment, cybersecurity, infrastructure, slots, passenger facilitation and taxation.

AAPA called upon Asian governments and all industry stakeholders to work more closely together to deliver effective air traffic management services to meet present and future operational requirements.

It also called for collaboration beyond national borders and commit to the development and implementation of enhanced Asia Pacific air traffic flow management systems.
With anxieties about the impact of climate change gaining increasing momentum, AAPA called on governments and operators to work together towards the effective implementation of ICAO CORSIA scheme in a way that is fair and equitable, avoids competitive market distortion and recognises the interests of developed and developing nations.

AAPA also called on governments to refrain from applying duplicative requirements on international aviation CO2 emissions. It also urged governments, industry and other stakeholders to establish a global and regional approach to cybersecurity built on the basis of trust and transparency and to work together to enhance cyber threat awareness, promote cybersecurity culture and strengthen cyber resilience.

The governments should work closely with other aviation stakeholders towards a shared long-term vision of harmonised international practices on the facilitation of passengers with disabilities with the aim of achieving a more inclusive air transport system.

Additionally, AAPA asked for support to ICAO efforts to develop a work programme on improving accessibility for passengers with disabilities, in a safe, secure and dignified manner, using evidence-based approaches that are practical and cost-effective.

At a time when the industry is already having to cope with an increasingly challenging business environment, and recognising the adverse impact on the wider travel and tourism sector, AAPA renewed its call on governments to refrain from increasing the burden of aviation levies in any form on international air travellers.

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