HONG KONG (Cathay Pacific) - Asia Pacific airlines, including Cathay Pacific Airways, the airline of Hong Kong, today pledged their support to an Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) resolution calling for governments to end the waste of precious resources caused by unnecessary air traffic delays and inefficient routes that force aircraft to follow indirect flight paths.
"The AAPA believes that governments must take immediate action to deliver the change that everyone needs," said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Philip Chen, who chaired the 49th Assembly of Presidents of the AAPA in Hong Kong.
"Cathay Pacific and carriers in the Asian Pacific region are working actively to reduce fuel consumption. Tremendous savings would be made if airlines could operate on more direct routes. Small changes to straighten airways would make a huge difference to save money, fuel and help the environment," Mr Chen said.
"Today's resolution is a strong statement by an aviation group that comprises leading airlines in the Asia Pacific and underlines the importance for governments to take immediate appropriate action," he added.
Fuel costs have doubled in the past two years and now account for the largest single expense for many airlines, including Cathay Pacific. Straightening some airways saved US$1.1 billion in 2004. Shaving just one minute off every flight operated in the world today would save more than US$2.7 billion and millions of tonnes of fuel a year, according to global aviation industry group IATA.
The AAPA, which represents 17 leading airlines in the region, seeks to speak with a common voice on behalf of the Asia-Pacific carriers when dealing with governments, aircraft manufacturers, airport authorities and other organisations affecting the efficiency of its members and the industry.
The AAPA resolution on fuel efficiency said: "Optimising fuel efficiency depends on many external factors, including route structure, air traffic flow management and airport capacity and layout." Governments should, it said, "Immediately introduce direct routing and operational measures at airports to reduce fuel wastage and improve airspace utilisation."
The meeting passed additional resolutions calling for a commonsense approach to handling health crises, security charges and proposed increases to insurance premiums. The AAPA also called on governments to exercise restraint in increasing the burden of levies on airlines and passengers.
The resolution said: "Air transport is essential for global business and tourism and plays an essential role in facilitating economic growth …The commercial viability of airlines is vital to the interest of global commerce...[Governments must] carefully consider the overall economic effects of putting further financial strain on the aviation industry, and to refrain from increasing the burden of aviation levies in any form."
Cathay Pacific is a CAPA Member. For more information on the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's membership service, please click the icon below.