Monday, June 08, 2009

M’sia committed to liberalising regional air services

PM speaks at IATA meeting

Malaysia is committed to the Asean roadmap for liberalisation of air services operated in the region.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Asean roadmap would fully liberalise air services arrangements in the region by 2015.

He said Malaysia was also working closely with other Asean member countries to look into the possibility of a single aviation market along the line of the European Union.

“This will probably be some distance away in the future, but it an exciting possibility nonetheless,” he said in his keynote address at the 65th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting here Monday.

Najib said Malaysia was also helping airlines to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions through revised air traffic control procedures as well as the implementation of Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) for aircraft landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani, right, walks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the 65th IATA Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. - AP

The trial, he said currently involved Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines and would eventually be expanded to include other carriers.

“We are also proud that KLIA will be the first stop in Asia to exhibit IATA’s Environment Booth which showcases the industry’s efforts in curbing and reducing carbon emissions,” he said adding that these were some major initiatives that Malaysia was undertaking to strengthen the aviation industry in the long term.

He also said Malaysia was committed to working with the industry to reduce air travel costs as well as improving efficiency and facilitation of passenger and freight movements at its airports.

Najib also that the industry itself needed to make the necessary changes to prepare itself for an uncertain future.

In order to survive the fuel price volatility, the global recession and the threat of outbreak of diseases, he said the air transport industry and governments must work hand in hand to find solutions to map the way forward.

“Together we must address ways to facilitate trade and revive economies, manage climate change, prepare for the possibility of a pandemic, secure our borders, and liberalise air services arrangements between countries.

“Together, the industry must continue to provide safe, reliable, secure and economical air services for the benefit of global consumers,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the ultimate aim of the entire industry must be long-term sustainability.

“The challenges we face today will likely resurface time and again in the future. We must find a way to insulate the industry so that future stocks in the system can be well absorbed without too much impact or damage to the players in the aviation game,” he added.

Najib said the Government was fully supportive of aviation as a key sector of business and commerce.

“Recognising the difficulties faced by the airline industry, we are firmly committed to playing our part in ensuring, not just the survival, but the continued strengthening of our aviation industry.”

Source : STAR
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