SINGAPORE: Truly open skies for ASEAN nearing reality

China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to sign two air service pacts that are likely to remove barriers to competition in the region, according to Singapore’s transport minister Raymond Lim. He said negotiations between China and ASEAN over the creation of “a liberal air services regime” were expected to […]


China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to sign two air service pacts that are likely to remove barriers to competition in the region, according to Singapore’s transport minister Raymond Lim. He said negotiations between China and ASEAN over the creation of “a liberal air services regime” were expected to be concluded this year after six years of talks.

Lim added that a second agreement, which would replace a two-year-old pact allowing limited competition on routes between ASEAN capitals with one allowing virtually unrestricted competition within five years, is also close to being finalised. The Asia Pacific region accounts for 25 per cent of global passenger traffic, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Last year, passenger numbers in the region rose to 647 million, overtaking the North American market for the first time.