Assurance General du Laos (AGL), a major insurance provider in Laos, plans to expand its business interests into the aviation industry.
The company, a joint venture between the Lao Ministry of Finance and Allianz, yesterday joined hands with Lao Airlines to host a seminar on aviation insurance at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, aiming to increase awareness among aviation officials of the importance of having their services insured.
The seminar also aimed to provide knowledge for participants of exactly what events insurance coverage can be provided for, enabling them to better ensure the safety of service users and the publi c.
“It's important to make people working in aviation related services aware of insurance issues and claims handling,” AGL Director Guy Apovy said at the opening of the seminar.
About 40 officials from the aviation industry, including Lao Airlines, the Lao Airport Authority and Air Traffic Management, attended the seminar.
It was the second such seminar organised by AGL in the past two years.
Mr Apovy said that although airline transport is the safest mode of transport in the world, an accident can be severe and create real tragedy.
Therefore airlines and aviation related businesses need insurance to provide help to victims of such accidents.
Lao Airlines Deputy Director Somsamay Visounnarath said that Lao Airlines decided to co-sponsor the seminar because it wanted to encourage organisations involved in the aviation industry to have their services insured.
“At present, only Lao Airlines has insurance, while the Lao Airport Authority and Air Traffic Management do not,” he said during the seminar, adding that all sectors concerned should have insurance to secure their interests.
“There are many examples of cases which fall under the responsibility of the Airport Authority and Air Traffic Management, for example aircraft crashes due to pilots receiving incorrect information from air traffic management,” he said, adding that in such a case the airliner would not be liable for the cost of damages, but rather air traffic management. This illustrates the need for insurance to protect companies in case of accidents.
Mr Somsamay said that although the Lao Airport Authority and Air Traffic Management are state-owned organisations they are in strong financial positions to have their services insured, as they can generate revenue from service providers.
“The problem is not money but awareness of officials in the organisations. If they do not see the importance of insurance they will not propose to the government to have their services insured,” he said.