AAPA widens scope while promoting Asian voice

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has expanded its scope of countries whose international airlines are eligible to join as it seeks to promote the development of a more vocal and unified Asian voice in global regulatory affairs. Donald Urquhart reports from Hong Kong.

AAPA widens scope while promoting Asian voice

Speaking at the AAPA’s 57th Assembly of Presidents in Hong Kong this November, AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said the association had already broadened the geographical definition of the Asia Pacific region similar to that of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) to include India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.

While India has not been directly approached by the AAPA, in part because the carriers there tend to be more domestic in nature and those that do serve international routes have largely been preoccupied by domestic infrastructure and regulatory issues. But Herdman noted the association will be making direct entreaties soon.

Herdman also said that AAPA is “very keen” to get major mainland Chinese carriers on board, noting that two Chinese carriers are already members – Cathay Pacific and Dragonair. “We have good relations with CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) and CATA (China Air Transport Association),” adding that a few Chinese carrier’s participated in the assembly this year.

One of the problems is the fact that the majority of their business is still domestic in nature. “The domestic market is so large, second only to US, and typically its been more lucrative than their international operations where they face fierce foreign competition from all the foreign carriers as well.