The EU’s transport commissioner has been urged by five top airlines to develop a new aviation strategy that will support growth and jobs across Europe.
The bosses of Air France KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair want to see a policy which strengthens the European aviation sector and give Europe’s passengers lower fares and more choice.
The four CEOs who attended - Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall (pictured), Carsten Spohr and Michael O’Leary – spoke after meeting commissioner Violeta Bulc on behalf of all five airlines which between them carried 420 million passengers last year, accounting for half of the passenger journeys in Europe.
Describing the meeting as “constructive, ”they said: “We welcomed commissioner Bulc's commitment to ensure efficiency is at the heart of the new EU aviation strategy," they said.
“Europe’s airlines form the most competitive sector in aviation with a diverse mix of carriers offering competition and choice to consumers. This is the first time we have joined together to highlight the importance of a new European aviation strategy.
“As the new transport commissioner prepares this strategy we encouraged her to drive more fair competition, encourage more efficiency and help reduce costs in other parts of our industry - such as monopoly airports and air traffic control providers - and reduce the tax burden on passengers.”
The airline CEOs highlighted four key measures:
• The development of an EU aviation strategy with a plan for a simple efficient regulatory structure, which would strengthen the competitiveness of European airlines, ensure jobs and growth through innovation, protect consumer interests and promote more efficiency to reduce costs.
• 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 create at airports; and that security charges are efficient. This could be achieved by reforming the airport charges directive.
• Delivering reliable and efficient airspace by reducing the cost of air traffic control; ensuring that ATC strikes do not cause disruption to passengers across Europe; and resetting the Single European Sky strategy by focusing on using new technology to make efficiency savings.
• Stimulating more economic activity and jobs by creating the right regulatory environment, removing passenger taxes and unreasonable environmental taxes.
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