The Association of Southeast Asia Nations, the trade bloc of 10 states, plans open skies for air cargo next year, with full deregulation of passenger flights between member states by 2015. Unlimited flights between the capital cities of member states are slated to kick off as early as December 2008.
Skeptics say the agreement has no teeth to enforce compliance by ASEAN member states, which could be a concern as legacy carriers trying to keep low-cost passenger carriers off their turf, such as the highly restrictive Jakarta-Singapore route.
Malaysian Airlines earlier signaled opposition to a fast track liberalization effort amid noises that Malaysia could emerge as a loser under open skies, while Singapore would be a winner. These developments have prompted warnings of delays on the route to open skies. However, those concerns are mostly in connection with low-cost passenger carriers; the road seems relatively clear for cargo.
Source: Air Cargo World, http://www.aircargoworld.com
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