(Beijing) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China to expand strategic cooperation to further the safe, efficient and sustainable development of China's air transportation system. The MoU focuses on the exchange of information, capabilities and experience in eleven areas including safety, air traffic management, training, fuel efficiency and technology.

"The Chinese aviation industry is developing at an incredible pace with double digit growth anticipated for the foreseeable future. China will play an increasingly crucial role and today's MoU ensures that global standards will be at the backbone of that growth. I congratulate Minister Yang Yuanyuan for his leadership, vision and foresight," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO.

"This is a strategic agreement and IATA is a strategic partner in the growth of Chinese aviation," said YANG Yuan Yuan, Minister responsible for the General Administration of the Civil Aviation of China. "We are dedicated to global best practice as a fundamental for sustained growth. This MoU formalises our existing cooperation and expands it into critical areas such as fuel efficiency and management of safety data."

The MoU continues a trend of intensified cooperation between IATA and China. In 2005 Minister YANG's support to co-operate in the implementation of IATA's Simplifying the Business (StB) programme at the level of a national development project resulted in e-ticketing penetration skyrocketing from 0.2% to reach 60% percent of transactions in just 19 months. "By year's end it 80% is clearly achievable and I am confident that China will achieve 100% by our end of 2007 deadline," said Bisignani.

Similar cooperation exists on safety. All Chinese carriers are committed to making the end-of-2007 deadline for the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). "China's commitment to aviation safety is strong. And the proof is in the numbers. In 2005 there were no major accidents. Already 7 carriers from the mainland of China are on the IOSA registry and the others are in the audit process. As one of the discussion topics of the MoU, I encourage the CAAC to incorporate IOSA into its safety oversight programme," said Bisignani.

The MoU was signed in Beijing on 10 August.

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA opened its Regional Office for North Asia in Bejing on 15 April 1994. Currently 17 Chinese carriers are IATA members. The office is being upgraded to facilitate its expanding role in Chinese aviation. Current employee numbers of 57 are expected to rise to 100 by 2010.
  • Key Chinese Aviation Statistics in 2005 (CAAC Statistics)
    • 25.8 billion tonne-kilometers (12% on 2004, No.2 in the world)
    • 138 million passengers (+12.7% on 2004
    • 3 million tonnes of cargo carried (+8.8% on 2004)
  • In May 2005, IATA Awarded Minister Yang with a Global Airline Leadership Award (GALA)