Etihad Airways has urged the European Commission to embrace “bold, exciting and world-leading reforms” as part of the Strategic Aviation Package to overhaul Europe’s air transport industry. In a detailed submission to the commission, the airline advocates a policy which actively facilitates competition and consumer choice, addresses critical shortfalls in aviation infrastructure and eases restrictions on market access and investments by non-European airlines.
New EU rules that will bring protection for package holidays in line with today’s digital age moved a step closer today following a political agreement by EU government ministers at today’s Competitiveness Council. The rules will extend protection of the 1990 EU Package Travel Directive to cover not only traditional package holidays, but also give clear protection to 120 million consumers who book other forms of combined travel.
The European Commission has updated for the 21st time the list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within Europe. Following improvements in the safety situation in the Philippines, Philippine Airlines is the first airline from this country allowed back into European skies since 2010.
In the margins of the EU Transport Council in Luxembourg, the European Union and Israel have signed a comprehensive air transport agreement which will gradually open up and integrate their respective markets, develop an aviation area with common rules, offer economic benefits for consumers and new opportunities for the industry.
Officials at the European Commission have ten Chinese and Indian airlines are facing the prospect of exclusion from airports in the European Union for refusing to comply with rules aimed at regulating greenhouse emissions. The airlines include Air China and Air India, with both carriers among those accused of not providing emissions data.
EU transport ministers have adopted a comprehensive set of Council conclusions which will lay down the framework for an ambitious EU external aviation policy for the coming years. Based on the European Commission’s recent Communication ‘The EU’s external aviation policy – addressing future challenges’, the Council has called for stronger coordination, unity and solidarity at EU level and for a more robust EU external aviation policy in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European aviation industry while supporting the interests of European consumers.
“A very unexpected but very welcome development, which may now temporarily prevent a full scale trade war,” was the response of World Travel & Tourism Council president David Scowsill, to the European Union’s decision to postpone the full introduction of its emissions trading scheme.
The European Union has confirmed it will “stop the clock” on the implementation of the international aspects of its Emissions Trading Scheme in the aviation sector by one year. As it seeks an international compromise on the scheme, the EU will defer the obligation to surrender emissions allowances from air traffic to and from the EU by one year.
National air traffic control spaces in Europe urgently need to be merged so as to clear congestion, boost safety, reduce flight times, delays and fares, create jobs and cut CO2 emissions, say MEPs in a resolution. They want the commission to put pressure on member states, including possible sanctions, to meet their obligations.
The Single European Sky, the flagship project to create a single European airspace - tripling capacity and halving air traffic costs - is “not delivering” according to latest report on this issue. Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for transport, announced his intention to present new legislative proposals in spring 2013 to accelerate implementation, as well as taking all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary.
The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme has suffered a further set back, with the United States Senate passing a bill shielding American airlines from the scheme. At present, the ETS requires airlines to buy permits for emissions generated on flights to, from and within the European Union.