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Qantas to end its AAPA membership

Australian flag carrier Qantas will not renew its membership in the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) when it expires this year, ending its four decade association with the regional body.

"Qantas continually reviews the effectiveness of public affairs activities, including membership of industry bodies. This includes international organisations, such as the AAPA. While Qantas has had a long-standing relationship with the AAPA, it recently advised the Director-General that it will not be renewing its membership," says David Epstein, head of executive government and corporate affairs at Qantas.

The carrier says that its interests in the broader Asia-Pacific have increased significantly in scale, and now extend beyond those focussed on by the AAPA.

"With the growth of aviation in Asia, and the need to manage our premium brand, Qantas, and our low fare Jetstar brands, it is now more appropriate for the Qantas Group to manage more stakeholder relationships in the Asia -Pacific directly or in tandem with regional airline partners," it adds.

It says that broader industry matters are still managed with the International Air Transport Association, with which Qantas says it "maintains a strong relationship". Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is on the IATA Board of Governors, and Epstein is on the agency's Government and Industry Affairs Committee.

The AAPA could not be reached for comment.