Malaysia's AirAsia CEO calls for region-wide aviation body
KUALA LUMPUR (XFNews) - Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Bhd on Sunday urged ASEAN countries to speed up deregulation in the aviation industry, saying such a move would lower costs and spur growth.
Chief executive Tony Fernandes said the 10-nation bloc had to harmonize regulatory requirements if it wanted to achieve the goal of a common market with open skies, and called for a European-style joint aviation authority.
"Engineers from one country can sign documents to certify an aircraft was air-worthy in another country. This is cost saving for the company," he said.
"I am sure that goes across all other industries. For us to have a common market, we must have a common standard across the industry. Otherwise the cost of business will go up for us," he said.
ASEAN hopes to establish a common market by 2020.
The Malaysia-based airline has ordered 100 new Airbus A320 planes, due to start arriving this month, which are expected to make AirAsia the largest budget carrier in Asia by 2011.