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Further liberalisation of Asian air travel markets needed urgently - CAPA

(SINGAPORE: 24 October 2005) Addressing the “Wired 2005” conference, the annual gathering of the world’s travel distribution specialists, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation consultant, Richard Pinkham, has made a call for governments to do more to foster enhanced growth in the nascent LCC sector.

Highlighting the remarkable low fare capacity and traffic gains that have been posted in the Asia Pacific over the past five years, Mr Pinkham congratulated the far-sighted governments that have opened their nations' air transport sectors to the new entrants, pointing out the benefits that such a move has had for those countries’ consumers and economies alike.

Mr Pinkham, based at the Centre’s Singapore office, exhorted all stakeholders in the air transport sector to follow the Centre’s ‘Manifesto for Growth’, which, inter alia, calls for airports and tourism authorities to encourage their governments to offer enhanced access to local air travel markets, on both an international and domestic basis.

Mr Pinkham quoted the Centre's Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison, as saying that governments resisting change and protecting their flag carriers are fighting a futile battle – “the egg has already been scrambled”. One of several interim measures to full rights of entry, which governments can enact immediately, is to allow new carriers access to regional airports not presently served internationally. Such a measure, would benefit the local airport, community and economy, while not exposing the home flag carrier to new, direct competition.

Another speaker at the conference, the chief executive of Singapore-based low cost carrier Tiger Airways, Tony Davis, said his company “stands with the Centre on the issue of the need for further liberalisation”. Mr Davis lamented the effects that continued protectionist regulation have on his company and the region’s economies and citizens.

The issue of aviation liberalisation will be taken up at the Centre’s annual Asia Pacific & Middle East Aviation Outlook Summit 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 5-6 December 2005. This year the theme is “Towards Best Practice: Maximising Revenues and Minimising Costs”. The Summit will also feature the Annual CAPA Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence in Aviation, to be presented at a Gala Dinner on 5 December.

The innovative programme also includes sessions such as ‘The Sales & Revenue Sages’, ‘Growth Market Gurus, ‘Cross Border JV Kings and M&A Merchants’, ‘The Fuel Foxes & Capacity Utilisation Cats’, ‘Productivity Powerhouses’ and ‘Outsourcing and Alliance Whizzes’.

Key speakers include former easyJet CEO, Ray Webster, AirAsia CEO, Tony Fernandes, Incheon International Airport CEO, Jae Hee Lee, Malaysia Airports Managing Director, Dato’ Seri Bashir Ahmad, European Commission Head of Bilateral Air Transport Agreements, Olivier Onidi, and former Ryanair Chairman, Patrick Murphy.

For more information, visit:
centreforaviation.com

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