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Asean members sign agreements to open up aviation industry

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November 7, 2008

Asean members sign agreements to open up aviation industry
Southeast Asian countries signed agreements on Thursday that will remove restrictions on air and air freight services and allow regional airlines to fly to any of the capitals of member countries by 2010, Reuters quoted an official as saying.

The multilateral agreements on air services and the full liberalisation of air freight services are part of plans drawn up by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to foster economic cooperation and growth.

Under the agreements, unlimited fifth freedom rights, allowing member countries the right to fly to each other's capital cities, will be in place by 2010. By 2015, all of Asean will be a unified aviation market, a statement said.

"Air transport is a vital component of the proposed Asean economic integration because it would allow exchange of people, it would facilitate trade and cultural exchange," said Porvenir Porciuncula, deputy director of Manila's Civil Aeronautics Board.

Asean groups Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

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