Tougher airport charging rules, a revamped single European sky, more competition in ground handling and freedom to allow airlines to trade take-off and landing slots form part of a manifesto for change presented by easyJet.
The budget carrier’s ‘vision for European aviation’ calls on the EU, governments and regulators to improve competitiveness in European aviation.
It comes as the European Commission works on a new aviation package.
The airline cited new research by Frontier Economics showing that tougher regulation of charges at 15 of Europe's largest monopoly airports would save passengers €1.48 billion, increasing total one-way passenger trips by 12.2 million, which in turn would raise consumer and tourism spending, and boost trade.
The overall impact of better airports regulation would be an increase of GDP in the European Economic Area of €37 billion or around 470,000 jobs.
EasyJet says four key changes would provide benefits such as:
- the move from dual till to single till regulation - when all revenues, both aeronautical and commercial, are taken into account when setting charges
- the reduction of airports' return on capital by just 0.5%
- an increase in airports' operating efficiency by 10% - reflecting the higher efficiency gains made by airlines, and
- the removal of the subsidy of transfer passengers - the charges for whom are often half that of origin and destination passengers.
In a speech to the European Aviation Club, chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “The EU plays a crucial role in supporting European aviation and easyJet is a shining example of that – without the liberalisation of European skies we would not exist in our current form.
“Europe is currently debating which policy framework to put in place, at a national and EU level, to promote the competitiveness of EU aviation.
"In order to get the best outcome for consumers, we believe that this framework should be based on fair competition, freedom of choice, and with passengers at the heart of policy making.
“We are calling on EU policy makers to revise the Airport Charges Directive and to rethink how we deliver Single European Skies.
“If we just tackled these two issues, they would improve the efficiency of our industry, drive down fares for consumers and create billions of Euros of GDP, equivalent to hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
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