Regional Australian and South Pacific airlines will collaborate more closely after the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) invited the Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA) to become an affiliate member.
ASPA, which covers airlines servicing destinations such as New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, operates a broad range of aircraft up to Fiji Airways’ Airbus A330 and A350 planes.
The agreement will give all ASPA full members RAAA membership benefits and rates when attending RAAA events, and will encourage more collaboration between smaller carriers in the region on addressing their mutual challenges, including the path to net zero carbon emissions.
RAAA CEO Steven Campbell, who was invited as an observer guest to the ASPA Annual General Meeting and Conference in Nadi, Fiji, said that developing closer ties between RAAA and ASPA will promote more collaboration and communication on issues facing the sector.
“Whether flying over ocean or desert, Asia Pacific and Australian regional airlines share challenges in operations, maintenance and recruitment that are part of connecting smaller regional and remote communities over great distances,” Campbell said.
“Issues such as aircraft support in remote locations, local recruitment and maintaining the varied fleet needed to suit local operational requirements are familiar to both ASPA and RAAA members.
“But members have found different ways of addressing these problems, and their knowledge and resources could benefit operators in both regions to provide safe, efficient services to their communities.”
ASPA secretary general David Tohi said he looks forward to working more closely with the RAAA, including members of each organisation attending the other’s events in future.
“Australian regional carriers have such similar challenges as we do, whether it is skills shortages or reducing carbon emissions,” Tohi said.
“We will all be facing these increasing issues together and together we have a better chance of meeting those challenges.”