In less than 20 years, the Asia/Pacific region will account for 38% of the world’s air traffic, according to the European Commission. Having a close relationship with a market leader like the ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will present a huge opportunity for any country, region or continent. Europe seems to know that.
Vice-President Kallas in its introduction to the EU-ASEAN Aviation Summit (10-11 Feb 2014, Singapore) pledged for the negotiations of an Open Skies agreement between the two regions. Such an agreement could lead to greater market access, enhanced efficiency of air traffic management and convergence on safety and security standards.
Nevertheless, discussions on such a comprehensive agreement are premature as ASEAN is not an integrated region per se. The ASEAN group only focuses on the grant of 3rd and 4th freedom between capitals and aims at progressively enlarging market access within the region. There would be significant improvements to be done, especially in terms of regulatory convergence (incl. safety, security, immigration, social etc.). Any comprehensive agreement would have to be signed by the European Commission, its Member States and individual ASEAN countries on a bilateral basis.
ECA put together the key numbers of the EU-ASEAN aviation market and growth prospects.
 Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Viet Nam and Myanmar.