What's all the hype about the ASEAN Single Aviation Market?

Find out what the latest developments surrounding the ASEAN Single Aviation Market are, and what the implications might be for aviation jobs in the region.


What’s all the hype about the ASEAN Single Aviation Market?

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Single Aviation Market took one massive step closer to becoming a reality at the end of 2018, following the 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Malaysia.

In this article, we’ll explore the key events from this conference and how they’re likely to affect the ASEAN market as a whole. We’ll also discuss how this might impact job opportunities.

What is the ASEAN Single Aviation Market?

The ASEAN Single Aviation Market is a prospective agreement that’s likely to be made between regional nations, including:

• Brunei
• Cambodia
• Indonesia
• Laos
• Malaysia
• Myanmar
• Philippines
• Singapore
• Thailand
• Vietnam

When this agreement eventually comes to fruition, it will create a unified set of rules designed to make it easier for airlines to operate across all countries within the ASEAN market.

The arrangement – originally scheduled to commence in 2015 – has been delayed by years of political wrangling.

However, the latest conference marked a major step forward, with transport ministers signing off on Protocol 4 (Co-Terminal Rights Between Points Within the Territory of Any Other ASEAN Member States).

Speaking at the recent ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook commented:

“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” … “This would provide flexibility to ASEAN airline operators, including Malaysia, to plan and expand their aviation network to the domestic routes with ASEAN countries,”

How would this development impact regional aviation job opportunities?

Although it doesn’t garner the same attention as the Chinese aviation market, the ASEAN market is already among the most rapidly developing across the world today.

In addition, one noticeable trait across this region is the proportion of passengers that already travel within it. This could be for work, leisure, or to visit far-flung family.

The signing of Protocol 4 should give a further boost to the ASEAN regional aviation market, with a higher number of carriers set to open new routes between major population centres.

However, it’s also likely to have a knock-on effect on the international markets. For example, international tourists may utilise the increasingly competitive local market to explore the region as a whole.

But the biggest single barrier to growth is likely to be the skills shortage, which is already having a dramatic impact on the regional aviation industry. ASEAN countries are having to compete against China and Western nations for a pool of talent that’s getting proportionately shallower.

As such, governments and aviation companies have started to implement measures designed to entice aviation professionals from abroad. So, in the near future, watch out for an increase in the number of job opportunities across the region. And, look for the generosity of the packages aviation companies are willing to offer.

Want to find out more about ASEAN growth? Discover everything you need to know in our latest white paper, ‘The ASEAN tiger takes on the Chinese dragon: Why aviation companies should fix their gaze on ASEAN growth despite China’s impenetrable smokescreen’.

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