Asia Surpasses U.S., Europe as Key Driver in Aviation Growth

Over the past decade, the Asia-Pacific region has maintained a steady economic growth rate superior to that of North American and European growth rates. This stable growth has resulted in the ascent of a newly affluent middle class across Asia.

An increase in disposable income in the Asian middle class has increased demand for transportation services, particularly for air travel. This article outlines this growth, the prospect for low cost carriers (LCCs) to meet this demand, and restraints on LCCs in the region.

Asia is the fastest growing airline market in the world, both in terms of aircraft orders and passenger volume. Boeing reports that by 2032, almost half of the growth in airline passenger traffic will be attributable to transportation to, from, or within the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus concurs, stating that “Asia will be the key driver of growth” over the next 20 years.

Resulting from the sustained increase in consumer demand for commercial airline travel, Asia will become the largest market for commercial aviation.

Resulting from the difference in income threshold level, Asian consumers seek air transportation that is cost and time efficient. Legacy carriers, by nature, aim to provide higher levels of service, reward frequent fliers, and establish alliances with sister airlines.

Asian consumers who have recently ascended to the middle class see less value in legacy carriers and the extensive services offered. Instead, LCCs provide a business model more aligned to the emerging Asian middle class dynamic.

To better meet consumer demand, LCCs have rapidly increased their operations in the Asian market since 2001. This increase has occurred largely on a regional level: while Southeast Asia is experiencing LCC penetration rates of over 50 percent, legacy carriers continue to dominatethe North Asian commercial airline market.

Despite this growth opportunity, LCCs have encountered serious challenges to their business operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Bureaucratic regulations comprise the principal challenge to LCCs moving forward. LCCs operating in Asia must also build and strengthen relationships with airport authorities. To frame these regulatory challenges, public aviation policy does not include LCCs since they operate as private carriers and do not reflect public interest.

In addition to navigating regulations on the ground from one government, LCCs must secure approved airspace from multiple governments. Bilateral air service agreements (BASAs) are the main forms of aviation agreements for airspace use across Asia.

Under a BASA agreement, a given flight is cleared to fly between two adjacent national airspaces. To operate in a given airspace, carriers must obtain permission to operate in the given airspace, which is viewed as a question of state sovereignty.

Governments in the region have an interest in ensuring that legacy carriers remain stable business operations. As legacy carriers “fly the national flag,” they are still viewed as a national symbol abroad. In order to maintain stability, governments perceive airlines as an infant industry, highlighting their role as a national public utility.

Therefore, for the LCC model to become successful across the Asia-Pacific region, LCCs must build alliances with relevant government officials and further develop the LCC brand with Asian consumers. Strategy must vary in each country, but LCCs have the potential to reshape the Asia-Pacific commercial aviation industry.

This article was originally published by a non-profit news platform for independent journalists, and authored by Clay Moran.

Reaper drops first precision-guided bomb, protects ground forces

UN Wants Answers on Drones; Why Not The American People?

In his latest Truth in Media Moment, independent investigative journalist Ben Swann examines a recent report released by the United Nations Human Rights Council demanding answers from the U.S. and other nations responsible for drone strikes on sovereign countries in southeast Asia — more commonly referred to as the Middle East — and Africa. The study examined 30 individual cases where civilian harm took place even though the targets of these strikes were terrorists.

The report, by international lawyer and human rights expert Ben Emmerson, specifically questions the legality of one state encroaching on the sovereignty of another in pursuit of terrorism and with the intent to kill. Emmerson further calls on the U.S. and allied nations to publicly investigate and explain these strikes. After all, the United States would not condone a foreign nation violating its sovereignty in such a way, and the American people would certainly be outraged — and rightfully so.

But, where is the outrage over these strikes? Why aren’t the American people calling on their government to explain its actions? It’s America’s tax dollars that are being used to kill innocent people in the pursuit of a single individual or small group suspected of terrorism.

U.S. officials have already made it clear time and time again that so called “collateral damage” doesn’t concern them. Four Americans have even been killed, but the U.S. made it clear that it is ok because they were only targeting one American. This is a program with zero accountability and apparently no restraint. Americans are forced to pay for programs Swann calls “nothing less than barbaric,” so why aren’t more citizens speaking out against these drone strikes?

The answer may be both simple and yet something we do not want to admit to ourselves. These strikes are happening overseas and therefore do not affect us. They are happening in nations many Americans don’t have sympathy for.

When we think of the Middle East, we think of images of suicide bombings, American flags burning, pictures of known terrorists, and radical militant groups. We have been conditioned to view the world through certain lenses, and we fail to make any distinction between Islamic extremists and innocent civilians who only want to live out their lives in peace.

For many, America has to be the good guy, the hero in this story. We are the defenders of liberty — the shining light in a world of darkness. We cannot view it any other way because that would be unpatriotic.

The mainstream media doesn’t report on these strikes and when they do, they only report on general information such as where the strike took place and the total number killed. They often fail to mention that the strike was intended only for one person and yet dozens of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters died for no reason other than they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Forgive me, but I fail to recall the story of the hero archetype who needlessly sacrifices innocent people just to take out a single antagonist, sometimes without evidence the person truly is a villain.


This article was originally published by a non-profit news platform for independent journalists, and authored by Shawn M. Griffiths, IVN Editor-in-Chief