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.


EU Elections 2019 – Main trends, first implications for aviation

By Laurent Donceel, Policy Director, A4E
On 20-21 June, the European Heads of State and Government are expected to nominate a new President of the European Commission . This will be the first of a long process of nominations and elections of presidents of the European Parliament, European Council, European Commission and other key EU posts which will reach an end once the EU Executive is fully sworn in by MEPs, possibly by early 2020 only. Four main trends have emerged in the analyses of this year’s European elections:
  • A sharp rise in voter turnout from 42% to 50.9%, reversing a decade-long trend of declining participation;
  • A ...
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Buckle up! It might get turbulent. But EU airlines have a plan for a smooth(er) summer.

By Achim Baumann, Policy Director, A4E
2018, one of the worst years for European air traffic control delays and flight cancellations in nearly a decade, is thankfully long gone. The delays? Not so much. Recently, Eurocontrol’s Network Manager published its 2018 annual report, stating that the average en-route air traffic flow management (ATFM) delays totalled 1,73 min per flight compared to a target of 0,5 min per flight. That’s a delay of nearly three times the expected target. This can mainly be attributed to: • En-route air traffic control (ATC) capacity constraints (28%), en-route weather (19%) and en-route ATC staff shortages (17%); • An increase in traffic of ...
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Don’t believe the airport myths on investments and capacity

by Thomas Biering, Policy Director, A4E

In recent months, ACI Europe and its member airports have claimed that A4E’s campaign for more effective EU regulation of airport charges threatens the development of airport infrastructure; seeks to undermine the “user pays” principle; and that the European Commission’s review of the Airport Charges Directive (ACD) creates uncertainty and risks affecting the value and attractiveness of European airports as assets.

This is a smokescreen and simply not credible. European airlines do not oppose investments in infrastructure and recognise that airport capacity constraints are a challenge. The “user pays” principle means that airports seek to recover their costs through user fees (charges) ...
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An inconvenient truth: “green aviation taxes” are not a silver bullet

by Thomas Biering, Policy Director, A4E

The liberalisation of the EU’s aviation market in the 1990s unleashed intense competition between European airlines which has lowered fares and increased choice. Flying is now for the many, not the few.

The democratisation of air travel in Europe is a major success story that has created economic and social benefits, allowing people to travel freely, visit friends and family abroad, experience new places and cultures and pursue business opportunities. Aviation has facilitated and supported the cross-border ties that are a hallmark of the 21st century, connecting people and ideas.

Demand for air travel is expected to continue to grow in the ...
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