23-Nov-2010 9:58 AM
ASEAN transport ministers reach agreement on open skies
- ASEAN open skies programme: Will allow designated airlines of member states to operate and carry traffic from any ASEAN city with an international airport to counterparts in other member states. The agreement allows full third, fourth and fifth-freedom traffic rights. Mr Pushpanathan stated the agreement would "significantly enhance [ASEAN's] air transport competitiveness, especially in facilitating air travel among ASEAN cities that ultimately support the tourism industry in the region;
- Brunei Action Plans: The ministers also approved the Brunei Action Plan for ASEAN strategic transport co-operation from 2011-15 which will guide cooperation and integration over the next five years in line with the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015;
- Framework with non-Asean parties: The ministers agreed on a framework for the region to enter similar air services arrangements with non-ASEAN parties, specifically dialogue partners, starting with China. Under this agreement, ASEAN designated airlines will be able to carry traffic from any city with an international airport in their territories to counterparts in China with full third and fourth-freedom traffic rights. Mr Pushpanathan stated the agreement would help support the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area and also increase tourist traffic between ASEAN and China.