Airlines 4 Europe (A4E) has called on the European Union (EU) to take decisive action on several crucial aviation policy issues that it said “continue to negatively impact European airlines and their passengers”.
The call was made at the airline association’s third annual Aviation Summit.
Issues to take action on included Europe’s inefficient air traffic management system, outdated passenger rights legislation and reform of the EU Airport Charges Directive.
A4E managing director, Thomas Reynaert said: “At a time when some doubt the benefits of European integration, A4E is issuing an urgent call for future decision makers in Brussels and across European capitals to elevate aviation policy to a critical priority for the next five years. This urgency can no longer be ignored or left to wishful thinking.
“Wishful thinking will not increase the efficiency of the EU’s airspace and ensure consumers do not see their travel plans unpredictably disrupted.
“Wishful thinking will not enable the more than 2 billion passengers that are projected to be flying in Europe in 2040 to benefit from efficient and cost-related air services.
“The new European Parliament and Commission will be decisive in shaping the future of air travel in Europe, and A4E is committed to working constructively with them to deliver on an ambitious vision for our aviation industry, our passengers and European businesses.”
A4E chairman and Ryanair chief executive officer, Michael O’Leary added the Single Market in aviation is one of the major achievements of the European Union, but progress on aviation has “stalled and we are going backwards”.
“The EU must tackle inefficient ATC monopolies through internationalisation of airspace, introduction of competition between ATC providers, and quicker delivery and flexible deployment of air traffic controllers,” he said.
“Airlines are doing everything possible to protect their passengers from another year of record delays and cancellations due to Europe’s mismanaged airspace. The EU must take responsibility to fix these fundamental problems rather than endlessly talking about them.”