Heads of Central Asian Airlines Discuss Air Service Development Problems

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The first round table of the heads of Central Asian airlines organized by Somon Air with the support of the Civil Aviation Agency under the government of Tajikistan and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) was held yesterday in Dushanbe.

Representatives of Somon Air (Tajikistan), Air Astana (Kazakhstan), SCAT Airlines (Kazakhstan), QAZAQ Air (Kazakhstan), Uzbekistan Airways (Uzbekistan) and Avia Traffic (Kyrgyzstan) discussed the factors hindering the growth and development of air services in Central Asia, including issues relating to aviation security and fuel supplies, reported Khovar's correspondent.

During the round table, it was noted that according to IATA forecasts, by 2037 passenger traffic in the global aviation industry will increase twice over, particularly in Central Asian countries, and therefore cooperation between the region's states is very important. The competitiveness of aviation in Central Asia is subject to significant challenges that have been voiced by regional airlines.

Participants emphasized the unacceptability of neglecting flight safety, both by the airlines and aviation regulatory authorities and structures. They likewise noted the importance of full compliance with international safety standards, in particular, the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) technical standards, the IATA operational safety audit (IOSA) and the IATA ground safety audit (ISAGO) requirements.

Governing bodies must be made aware of the importance of applying the best world practices in relation to taxation, customs duties, fees and other related costs.

The discussions also focused on the issues relating to increasing the number and frequency of direct flights, which is seen as a necessary condition for furthering the development of states.

The airlines called on governments to implement the best world standards and practices, to invest and develop the necessary infrastructure at reasonable and transparent prices, both for air transportation and ground handling.

The airlines obtained expert support from the IATA, which was present at the round table as an observer.

The round table of the heads of Central Asian airlines will be held twice a year. The next meeting is scheduled for October. The host airline will be determined later.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan