[photopress:Bisignan_looks_pleading.jpg,full,alignright]IATA, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has identified five challenges China will face in an air industry which can compete at world levels. These are: efficient air traffic management, environmental sustainability, cost-efficient airport infrastructure, internal cost control and commercial freedoms.
However, note that IATA. almost by definition, is representing all the other commercial airlines (a vocal slab of which is American neatly protected from true competition by Americ’a strange bankruptcy laws) and commercial freedom is something members of IATA have been squabbling about among themselves since it was formed. Basically what most IATA members want is commercial freedom from everyone else, but not for everyone else.
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO and shown here, at the China Civil Aviation Development Forum in Beijing, said, ‘China has an important role in the industry today, and is a future global leader for air transport. By 2010, the largest single market for aviation will be intra-Asia, accounting for nearly a third of all air travel with China at the centre. China is at a critical moment that is also a great opportunity. And to build a more successful future, China has to avoid the mistakes made in other parts of the world.’
He went on, ‘ While there have been impressive accomplishments in China – IATA-1 was opened last year that cuts 30 minutes off a round trip to Europe, RVSM will be implemented this year - big challenges still remain. The congestion delays in the Golden Triangle can be measured in hours, while the inefficient airspace design in the Pearl River Delta is costing HK$1 million a day with Chinese carriers being the most affected. We need a solution quickly.’
And IATA would like, please, to have the prices of going and coming lowered.
Giovanni Bisignani said, ‘China has some of the highest charges in Asia outside of Japan. With uniform charges for all Chinese airports, they are definitely not cost-related. IATA is working with the government to develop a charges regime that challenges airports on efficiency, provides a reasonable return to investors, and supports a competitive industry.’
The competitive industry would, of course, mainly be members of IATA and, indeed, again he has a point.
Massive landing charges curtail commercial development and China will have to make up its mind of what basis those charges should be made.
He then got to commercial freedom which is a tricky point with every major country in the world and it is pointless trying to blame one country over another.
He said, ‘The recent US-EU open-skies agreement moves the industry in the right direction, but falls short of the fundamental change we need. China’s fast growing economy demands efficient air transport links, and progressive liberalisation has played an important role - opening Hainan as a free port for aviation services, liberalising bilaterals with the US, ASEAN, Japan and Korea. With the aviation industry’s centre of gravity moving East, China has an enormous leadership opportunity to shape policy where the US and EU have failed to do so.’
It may well be he is hoping for too much.
Source: Money Control
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