Brussels, 25th March 2015
IACA’s annual Assembly took place in Brussels on 24th and 25th March 2015, providing an opportunity for the Association’s members to discuss key issues with high-level representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, EASA and EU Member States.
In a first reaction to last week’s announcement by the European Commission of an “Aviation package for improving the competitiveness of the EU Aviation sector”, IACA members stressed that airlines can be made more competitive if aviation infrastructure in the EU becomes more cost-effective, notably at the level of air traffic control and airports.
IACA also considers that the EU should not regulate in isolation. A genuine level playing field with the rest of the world should be restored as soon as possible, and in particular in the areas of environment, passenger rights and security.
Furthermore, the EU’s institutional governance should be improved. Airlines would be better understood and served if the various decision-makers in Europe establish a closer cooperation when elaborating air transport policies and when assessing their genuine impact on the business.
Finally, airlines should be provided flexibility to make the whole of European Union as their base through a harmonised and standardised implementation of EASA rules, and mutual recognition of certificates issued by third countries with an equivalent level of safety.
Christoph Debus, IACA Vice-President, Chief Airlines & Hotel Officer, Thomas Cook Group, concluded:
”With a newly appointed European Parliament and European Commission, the EU is ready to strengthen the competitiveness of its airline sector. We believe that the focus should be on cost-effectiveness and efficiency of airlines’ service providers. Lower costs for today’s unjustifiably expensive infrastructure will ultimately translate into lower fares for the travelling public and a stronger competitive position for airlines”.