ASEAN takes steps towards open skies goal

THREE multilateral agreements have been developed for ASEAN Open Skies and further goals being considered for the long-term, according to Win Swe Tun, director general, Department of Civil Aviation, Myanmar.

He was speaking at the ASEAN Tourism Conference yesterday on an overview and update of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM).

The agreements are ASEAN Multilateral Agreement of the Full Liberalisation of Air Freight Services, ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Services and ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services.

Win Swe Tun said: “ASEAN Open Skies Policy or ASAM will create for airlines more market access rights to expand route networks; more operational flexibilities to deliver services, efficiently and economically, and opportunities to extend business to the other member states.

“For the public, it will mean better services and lower fares through increased competition, and for tourism and trade ASEAN Open Skies is a boost to business.”

He added that intra-ASEAN air travel grew at a compounded annual rate of 13 per cent. “In future, we expect even more growth.”

Meanwhile, ASEAN is working with other regional partners for more air connections. The first meeting of the ASEAN-Japan Working Group on Regional Air Services Arrangements took place last October, and discussions with South Korea for an air services agreement will resume this year.

The regional association also organised the first ASEAN-EU Working Group Meeting last December to work on issues related to setting up a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement.

Win Swe Tun said Myanmar’s tourism, aviation and maritime sectors must collaborate and align their vision. He added: “This is a chance for investment, involvement and participation of other parties (in Myanmar’s aviation sector)… Regionally or globally, we want to work together to build a new era for Myanmar and future generations.”

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