ASEAN has missed the December 2008 deadline to open markets between capital cities on a multilateral basis, said the director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA), Giovanni Bisignani. “Malaysia must be a strong voice encouraging ASEAN member states to fulfill their obligations under the ASEAN Roadmap for the Integration of the Air Travel Sector (RIATS) and to meet the 2010 milestone. “ASEAN must aim high. A single market including ownership liberalisation by 2015 would be a major leadership step forward,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Bisignani speaking in Kuala Lumpur in advance of IATA’s 65th AGM, as he reiterated his frequent call for greater commercial freedoms enjoyed by other businesses. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Markets are closed until governments negotiate them open, and foreign ownership restrictions have resulted in a hyper-fragmented industry of 3,200 players that is vulnerable to economic shocks. Airlines facilitated the global village. Because of outdated rules, we are the last to be able to take advantage. This crisis must be an opportunity to modernise,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Bisignani.
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