The five airline chief executives join EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc to launch the initiative in Amsterdam
Airlines for Europe, Europe’s new airline association, has officially been launched at an EU Aviation Summit in Amsterdam.
The new association has been founded by Europe’s five largest airline groups – Air France KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group, Ryanair – to represent the interests of its members when dealing with the EU institutions, international organisations and national governments on European aviation issues.
A4E will grow its member base over the next months, uniting European airlines to take forward changes that will increase their competitiveness and result in lower fares and more choice for passengers.
Taking place just a few weeks after the presentation of the EU Aviation Strategy, the Summit is the first major meeting of policy-makers and the industry.
The five chief executives – Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall, Willie Walsh, Carsten Spohr and Michael O’Leary – commented: “We welcome the European Commission’s Aviation Strategy for a stronger and more competitive European aviation industry. But we need to act now – large scale airport monopolies, high charges, taxation and inefficiencies characterise the aviation supply chain.
“We want to work with the Commission and the Member States to implement the strategy, and we call on the Member States to support the work of the Commission to reduce monopoly supplier costs.”
Besides its support of the Commission’s Aviation Strategy and the commitment to identifying challenges and opportunities to improve the competitiveness of the EU Aviation sector, A4E will campaign on at least three important measures:
Lowering the cost of the EU’s airports by ensuring that monopoly airports are effectively regulated; ensuring that passengers receive the full benefit of the commercial revenues which they generate at airports and ensuring that security charges are efficient.
A new Aviation Economics study shows that airport charges at the largest 21 European airports have increased by 80 per cent since 2005.
“Airport charges have risen by more than three quarters over the last ten years.
“This is in direct contrast to the lower air fares being delivered by European airlines which have decreased by 20 per cent over the same period. We want to create growth and new jobs across Europe, both within aviation and beyond,” explained a statement from the new group.
Delivering reliable and efficient airspace by reducing the cost of Air Traffic Control provision through completion of the Single European Sky and better economic regulation at EU level; ensuring that ATC strikes do not cause disruption to passengers across Europe; using new technology to make efficiency savings; and using SESAR funding to drive compliance with the Single Sky framework.
“The best way to improve the competitiveness of EU airlines is to lower the costs of monopoly providers – which would help everyone.
“In this context, we support the Commission’s proposed Single European Sky 2+ package and welcome its positive statements around future movement on ATC strikes.
“We urge all parties to engage in dialogue and we will seek an urgent meeting with ANSPs to discuss and develop an action plan,” added A4E.
Stimulating more economic activity and jobs by creating the right regulatory environment, removing unreasonable taxes.
The Italian government has recently increased the taxes on passengers charged at Italian airports by €2.50 from 2016 onwards.
A4E is opposed to unreasonable taxes on aviation – these damage the economy and jobs.
The increase in the Italian passenger tax is a disappointing step in the wrong direction and it will damage the Italian economy.