In 2015, the CEOs of Europe’s leading airline groups called for nothing less than a revolution. They were convinced that there could no longer be a delay in defining a clear long-term vision for aviation in Europe, and that the achievements and benefits of 25 years of the single market could be even furthered through bold policies that would benefit consumers, ensuring a continuous, clean, safe and competitive air transport market.

Emboldened by the lack of progress made by previous EU airline associations, Airlines 4 Europe (A4E) — currently the EU’s largest airline association, successfully launched in January 2016 with a unified mandate to promote the interests of European airlines and their passengers.

Today, A4E counts some 15 leading airline groups as its members. Alongside the five founding members — Air France-KLM, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair — new carriers both big and small, low-cost, leaser, legacy and cargo have joined, including: Aegean, airBaltic, Cargolux, Finnair, Icelandair,, Norwegian, TAP Portugal, Travel Service and Volotea. Beyond airlines, global manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer, GE, Heico and Thales have also become members of A4E.

Flying more than 635 million passengers per year, Airlines for Europe members currently account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s passenger journeys. Every day, more than 2,900 of their aircraft cross the continent, and more than 300,000 employees in the air and on the ground ensure safe and reliable operations.


Targeted regulation of Europe’s monopoly airports is possible and practical. Here’s why it matters.

by Thomas Biering, Policy Director, A4E

It is no secret that A4E has been doggedly campaigning for economic regulation of monopoly airports for several years now.

Why is this so important?

Because our experience -- and the initial findings from the European Commission’s review of the Airport Charges Directive (ACD) -- shows that some European airports misuse their dominant position, first and foremost in the form of setting excessive airport charges (fees that airlines pay to use airport infrastructure and/or related services).

Thanks to intense competition between airlines, air travel within Europe has never been more accessible or affordable than it is today. Nevertheless, monopoly airports levying excessive charges ...
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20 years’ worth of flight delays in just one summer. Time is of the essence: We need a Seamless (Single) European Sky, now!

by Achim Baumann, Policy Director, A4E

At the beginning of this year, A4E called on Member States and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to take urgent measures to ensure this summer’s peak travel season would be a smooth one for EU passengers. Fast forward to September, and here are the results*:

  • June 2018 vs June 2017 en-route delays: +150,2%
  • July 2018 vs July 2017 en-route delays: +102,4%
  • August 2018 vs August 2017 en-route delays: +102,1%

The main reasons for this shocking increase in delays: 1) A lack of capacity provided by ANSPs, and 2) an overall shortage among Air Traffic Control staff (ATCOs), with ...
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It’s the final countdown: What aviation policy-makers in Brussels should be focused on, right now

by Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, A4E
It is fair to say that this summer’s exceptionally warm weather may have been good for tourism, but probably not for policy-making – when the EU institutions’ history of “non-exertion” reaches its peak during the summer recess. The truth is, the EU institutions were facing a lame duck scenario of inactivity long before things heated up in Brussels. New or renewed initiatives (as part of the widely-pronounced EC Aviation Strategy) which could make a difference in strengthening the single European aviation market have been largely “missing in action” the last months. That said, there is still a glimmer of hope on the horizon ...
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ATC Strikes in Europe: A pivotal moment to take action on behalf of consumers and Europe’s economies

by Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, A4E
In 2016 – the year A4E was founded, European travelers were subjected to an astounding 41 days of strike at the hands of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) – the majority of these strikes occurring in France. We thought it couldn’t get any worse than 2016. I’m afraid, we were wrong. This year is shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes in Europe. A4E member airlines have been forced to cancel more than 6,000 flights resulting from 29 strike days in just the first half of this year. That’s already more days than we had ...
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