HONG KONG (Cathay Pacific) - Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it had signed an agreement with Australia's air traffic control (ATC) provider aimed at delivering greater operational efficiencies and possible future cost savings.
The airline signed a Strategic Partnering Charter agreement with Airservices Australia (AsA), the Government-owned provider for air traffic control and related airside services, to cultivate a close and cooperative relationship and to deliver greater operational efficiencies within Australian space and beyond.
This is Cathay Pacific's first Strategic Partnering Charter arrangement. It plans to sign similar accords with many other ATC providers across its global network. Such agreements could lead to the more effective use of airways, which would save significant costs by reducing aircraft fuel burn.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen recently signed the Charter with AsA Chief Executive Officer Greg Russell at a ceremony in Hong Kong.
Mr Chen said: "As the world's leading airline, we recognise the importance of fostering a close relationship and open communication with our ATC providers. The partnership goes beyond the standard supplier-user relationship and recognises that a collaborative, coordinated approach to optimising the capacity of airways system offers the best opportunity for significant mutual gains."
Mr Russell said that "we well recognise that organisations like Airservices can play a major role to help reduce fuel usage. Today, this represents a very substantial cost to airline operators. I welcome this partnership agreement which will facilitate an even closer working relationship between Cathay Pacific aircrews and Australian air traffic controllers and will lead to improved efficiency and a reduction in fuel usage."
He added: "Airservices Australia has now been awarded IATA's prestigious Eagle Award on two occasions in the last few years, for initiatives like these. The world aviation industry is facing a range of significant challenges and air traffic service providers need to play a more proactive role in helping our airline customers to reduce their costs."
In addition to the development of a communication protocol between Cathay Pacific and AsA, both parties will also implement an operational awareness programme in which regular exchanges will be arranged for Cathay Pacific flight crew to visit AsA technical facilities, and AsA ATC staff to undertake flight deck familiarization travel and visit Cathay Pacific operational facilities in Hong Kong.
Mr Chen added: "Air traffic controllers and flight crew depend upon each other. There are few opportunities for the development of a full appreciation of each other's jobs, including competing operational and commercial demands and considerations which can impact on their working relationship. A better appreciation by pilots and controllers of each other's operational environment can only help to improve the safe, efficient and effective operation of the Australian Air Traffic Management system."
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