SINGAPORE – Transport ministers from seven South-east Asian countries pledged on Tuesday (May 17) to work closely to urgently rebuild and restore air travel, as the region looks to capitalise on the reopening of borders to boost recovery.

In a statement, the ministers of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia and Brunei said they will facilitate the mutual recognition of Covid-19 health certificates and the development of an Asean single aviation market.

Measures cited also include the harmonising of aviation-related public health and safety measures, as well as greater cooperation on sustainable practices such as environmentally sound new technologies.

The ministers said they will also work together to strengthen air connectivity between South-east Asia and other regions.

Finally, they will promote training and capacity building to support the recovery and growth of the civil aviation sector and the well-being of its workers.

The statement was released on the first day of the inaugural Changi Aviation Summit at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, during which industry leaders and government ministers discussed the way forward for the industry.

Talks onĀ Asean travel bubbles in the last two years have not materialised, and international passenger traffic within South-east Asia before April was a tiny fraction of pre-Covid-19 levels. Read more