THE Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) is welcoming membership applications from more Asian airlines with scheduled international services and is "very keen" to woo major Chinese carriers to join its ranks, said its director general.
AAPA has already widened the geographical limits of its membership criteria to carriers based within the time zones of GMT+5 to GMT+12 earlier this year from GMT+7 to GMT+12.
Said AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman, during the AAPA 57th Assembly of Presidents in Hong Kong: “We have good relations with CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) and CATA (China Air Transport Association).”
He added that a few Chinese airlines participated in the assembly this year.
AAPA is also open to engagement with South Asian airlines as its recently redrawn geographical coverage now includes India and Pakistan, Herdman shared, although the Federation of Indian Airlines and the Indian aviation market have a “primarily more domestic focus”.
When questioned on the lack of LCC members in AAPA, Herdman remarked: “We are certainly open to LCCs – any business model is welcomed.”
However, the caveat is that any new airline member is required to invest the “time, efforts and attention”, which comes in the form of membership fees – the figure ranges but reaches a few hundred thousand dollars per airline at the top end – and participation in meetings and taskforces to develop positions and joint lobbying with the secretariat, he pointed out.
As for plans to include the budget offshoots of its member airlines, Herdman said: “We view those subsidiaries and associates as de facto members anyway; they are unable to attend the meetings and their parent companies share information. We have thought about additional incremental costs (for those LCC subsidiaries), which will be very modest and we won’t expect them to pay an individual share.”