Asean Single Aviation Market nearing reality, says Transport Minister

Anthony Loke Siew Fook

BANGKOK: The Asean Single Aviation Market is coming closer to reality following the conclusion of the 24th Asean Transport Ministers Meeting here yesterday.

During the meeting, Asean transport ministers signed the Protocol 4 on Co-Terminal Rights Between Points Within the Territory of Any Other Asean Member States.

“This protocol allows an airline to serve two or more points in another Asean member state on the same route as part of an international journey,” Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook told Bernama after the conclusion of the meeting here yesterday.

Under the protocol, an airline operator is allowed to offer flight services to carry its international passengers to two destinations within a country using only one ticket or waybill.

For an example, Loke said Singapore Airlines would be allowed to provide services for the Singapore-Kuching-Kota Kinabalu route without resorting to cabotage between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

“This would provide flexibility to Asean airline operators, including Malaysia, to plan and expand their aviation network to the domestic routes with Asean countries,” he said.

Loke said Malaysia had been supporting and championing efforts to liberalise the regional aviation market and with a high level of competitiveness, Malaysia’s airline operators, and other non-aviation sectors such as tourism, would reap the benefits from the realisation of the single aviation market.

Meanwhile, he said Asean transport ministers also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Improvement of Safety Standards and Inspection for Non-Convention Ships within Asean Member States.

“The member states also adopted the Guidelines for Safety Standards for Non-Convention Ships and the MoU and guidelines will serve as a reference point for Asean members to improve the safety standards of ships under 500 gross registered tonnage,” Loke said.

He said the ministers also adopted three sustainable transport-related documents which would serve as a guidance and complement the national level policies and action plans to reduce pollution from the transportation sector.

“My counterparts from Indonesia, Thailand and I inked the Protocol to Amend the MoU Between the Governments on Expansion of Air Lingkages within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).

“Member states in the growth triangle have added four new destinations, namely Silangit and Tanjung Pandan in Indonesia, Subang in Malaysia and Surat Thani in Thailand to the existing points,” Loke added. — Bernama

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