Major Asia-Europe Route Overhaul

SINGAPORE Effective 0200 GMT 28 November 2002 a new network of air routes connecting Australia, Asia, the Middle East
and Europe will be implemented. Passengers can expect flight times to be shortened by up to 30 minutes and an estimated 103,000 minutes of ground delays should be eliminated for departures to Europe from Singapore, Kuala
Lumpur and Bangkok. For airlines, the benefits of more efficient routes in fuel savings alone will reduce costs by a conservative estimate of US$55 million per year.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO
said “This is a shining example of how an industry-led solution can produce real benefits for consumers and the environment along with reducing costs. This is the
culmination of great efforts and outstanding cooperation by IATA, ICAO, national governments and our member airlines.”

IATA began the process of reforming the route structure
following a meeting in Singapore in February 2000. IATA was tasked by its member airlines to review air traffic flows along the entire Kangaroo route from Australia to Europe
with a goal to improving safety, reducing costs, and
increasing both efficiency and environmental friendliness.

David Behrens, IATA regional director for Safety,
Operations and Infrastructure said, “We quickly realized
that what was required was bigger than anything we had ever done before. Government cooperation was essential and we approached our partners at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN agency responsible for aviation matters.”

ICAO rose to the challenge and IATA played a leading role in the ICAO Europe, Middle East, Asia Route Structure South
of the Himalayas (EMARSSH) task force whose work has
resulted in the reformed route structure. In the process, at least 21 states, airlines, military agencies and the air
navigation chart maker Jeppeson contributed to the largest ever route overhaul in civil aviation. Commented
Behrens, “the success of the EMARSSH project has clearly
demonstrated what can be accomplished through international
teamwork and mutual understanding. Everyone is a winner,
including the environment and the travelling public.”


That is not the end of the story. “To cope with future
growth, we will eventually need to move towards a User
Preferred Route (UPR) system that would let airlines file
optimized flexible routes based on daily wind patterns. In
the meantime, EMARSSH has given the industry a robust route
structure and, perhaps more importantly, it has
demonstrated that there are no limits on what can be
accomplished with hard work and cooperation.”