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The 2nd Central Asia Chief Executive Officers Roundtable of the IATA members and IOSA-registered carriers was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, hosted by Air Astana and chaired by its President and CEO Peter Foster. Top management of Air Astana, QAZAQ Air, SCAT (Kazakhstan), Avia Traffic (Kyrgyzstan), Somon Air (Tajikistan) and AZAL (Azerbaijan) and the representatives of IATA (International Aviation Transport Association) expressed their joint position on safety being the most important priority for the aviation community. Joint efforts shall be done in order to achieve highest levels of safety. IOSA audit in particular is an important program achieving higher standards of safety for the airlines and shall be regarded by regulators as an important program for increasing safety levels.

Strengthening of the cooperation between the aviation community and European Union authorities will enable better communication and work on achieving common goals for the industry, using the best practices and knowledge. Airlines continued the discussion about API/PNR developments in the region, its pros and cons of program’s implementation in the Central Asia countries. Airlines expressed their opinion that API/PNR implementation is a matter of national security and therefore shall be financed by the state authorities.

Airlines express the support regarding the International Air Transport Association’s crucial role as a representation of a single voice of the aviation industry, providing wide expertise on the crucial topics related to civil aviation development in the region. Strengthening cooperation with wide range of aviation stakeholders, including the airlines, airports, governments and its authorities, as well as international organizations, is bringing additional benefits to all involved parties.

The importance of the round table was highlighted by the presence of EU Ambassador in the Republic of Tajikistan Marilyn Josefson, US Consul General to Kazakhstan Eric Meyer, and Chairman of the Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan Talgat Lastayev. Thomas W. Hallam II, the CEO of Somon Air stated: “As the Chairman of the Ist Central Asia Airlines CEO Round Table and as the CEO of Somon Air I was very proud to see that this round table has grown in a stature and commitment. Peter Foster, Air Astana President and CEO and I agreed that it greatly exceeded our expectations and this portends a bright future for the importance of CEO Round Table”.

Central Asia Airlines CEOs Roundtable is a unique forum for Central Asia where airline CEOs meet on a regular basis to address the most pressing issues related to the development of civil aviation in Central Asia. IATA experts provided their expertise and knowledge on the topics of the discussion, as well as economic benefits of aviation, trends in aviation growth and outlook for the region. The first Central Asia Airlines CEO’s Roundtable took place in Dushanbe in May, 2019.

To date, Somon Air has successfully operated flights from Tajikistan to Germany, the UAE, Turkey, India, China, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The airline fleet consists of Boeing 737-300, -800 and -900 aircraft and Airbus H125 helicopter.