EU model for Asean?

Courtesy AirAsia

Courtesy AirAsia

Outspoken AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes has called on airlines in Southeast Asia to press for a regional aviation regulator modelled on the European Union (EU)’s centralised administration of matters such as safety standards and carriage obligations of airlines to passengers.

Mr Fernandes said: “If you let the bureaucrats do it, it will never happen. So, all airline must join hands to call for one regulator, adopting the European model for respective national regulators and Asean regulators to exist concurrently.”

It could not have come more timely when the Asean open skies policy scheduled for full implementation this year looks unlikely to be realized. All’s been too quiet on the common front past almost half the year. And while airlines are preparing for the competition, setting up joint ventures to take advantage of the proposed liberalisation, much still depends on the political agreement among the disparate group of ten very different economically assessed nations.

At the same time, it cannot be assumed that while the airlines recognise how liberalisation would open up new opportunities for them, they will find it easier to work together to propose a common framework for adoption. As different as the national political bodies are, so are their home airlines. The single market will see heightened competition within the region with the growth of low-cost carriers, but the real challenge comes when national airlines look beyond the region, competing on the long haul.

Yet if it works in Europe, why not Asean? That’s the poser waiting to be answered.


About Dingzi
Writer by passion, with professional expertise in aviation, customer service and creative writing. Aviation veteran, author, editor and management consultant. Besides commentary on business issues and life-interest topics, travel stories and book reviews, genres include fiction, poetry and plays. Nature lover who abhors cruelty of any form to animals, and a tireless traveler. Above all, a dreamer.

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