The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) held its 57th Assembly of Presidents conference in Hong Kong today to discuss the rapid expansion of aviation services in the region, along with the challenges the industry faces.
Asia is home to two-thirds of the world’s population and therefore, according to director general of the AAPA Andrew Herdman, is an integral part of the aviation industry.
“Aviation is a key catalyst for successful economic and social development, with more than 8 million passengers flying every single day,” said Herdman. “Nowhere is this more evident than in Asia, where aviation plays a critical role in bringing people together, and connecting products with markets worldwide.”
A key example of this is the time of crisis faced in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where air transport is playing a critical role in providing humanitarian relief.
According to Herdman: “Philippine Airlines and other local carriers are providing a lifeline to the people in Tacloban and the surrounding islands.”
Another important development is the new competitive landscape in the region, which has seen Asia-Pacific carriers at the forefront of industry changes. This includes providing consumers with a vast array of new travel options, including many joint ventures and corporate partnerships.
This is highlighted by the recent news that Singapore Airlines is signing a joint venture agreement to operate a new full-service airline in India with the Tata Group (see here). The same company is also in a corporate partnership with Air Asia.
Finally, Herdman also spoke briefly about the evolution the aviation industry has gone through over the years, and highlighted the prominent rise of low-cost carriers such as Scoot.
“Singapore Airlines’s low-cost carrier has joined the ranks of other entrants like Air Asia X and Cebu Pacific in the long-haul market, now reaching places such as Australia, China and the Gulf,” concluded Herdman.
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