The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has called on governments to stop implementing “ill-conceived new regulations and taxes” that hinder the growth of the aviation industry.
At the AAPA Assembly of Presidents in Hong Kong, the association renewed its call for an end to “government interference and inefficiency”, in areas including infrastructure planning, passenger facilitation, passenger rights and unfair taxes.
“Governments around the world appear to have been blind to the fact that airlines have been fighting for survival over the past five years, with post recessionary market conditions still making it very tough to earn a decent return on investment. Indeed, by treating aviation as a cash cow, some governments appear to ignore the financial damage being inflicted on both airlines and their own economies,” said AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman.
Herdman cited the visitor arrival taxes being considered by Thailand and Indonesia as potential impediments to growth. He also rebuked the European Commission for continuing with plans to including international airlines in the emissions trading scheme (ETS), despite having previously agreed to work out a global solution with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“Even after all the efforts at the 38th ICAO Assembly to reach a landmark global agreement to develop a market based measure to address aviation emissions, the recent EU proposal to extend the EU ETS to European airspace has been met with a mixture of incredulity and disbelief,” Herdman said.
“AAPA is absolutely convinced that the interests of Asia Pacific carriers, and the industry as a whole, are best served by supporting a global solution, not a patchwork of national or regional schemes that will only distort the market.”
The AAPA said that governments should “carefully consider the overall economic effects of putting further financial strain on the travelling public and on the aviation industry, and to refrain from increasing the burden of aviation levies in any form”.