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.


Sustainability: “We are not willing to create an unreasonable burden for European aviation.” – Interview with Pekka Henttu and Maja Ahokas on the aviation priorities of the Finnish EU Presidency.

A4E: Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union began on 01 July. In what direction will you be taking the EU and its transport policy during the next six months? MA: Yes, we have just started our Presidency so we are very much eager and looking forward to it! Our slogan is: “Smart connections for sustainable growth”. We have four main policy areas: 1 -Digital transport services; 2- Safe and sustainable automation of traffic; 3- A fully carbon-free transport system; 4- Data – we want the EU to be the frontrunner in data utilisation. We have now officially approved our governmental program following the April parliamentary ...
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Summer has arrived. Are ATC delays heating up?

In May I promised a follow up report on the ATC delay situation this summer, following new measures introduced by A4E airlines this spring. According to the latest Eurocontrol figures - there's good news - and still some bad news to report. First the good news:
  • Delays caused by weather and ATC strikes have decreased from 18,000 minutes of delay per day (Jan.-June 2018) to 9,600 minutes of delay per day (Jan.-June 2019).
  • En-route delays are slightly down compared to last year, and even better than originally forecasted.
Now, the bad news:
  • Structural delays due to ATC staffing and capacity shortfalls continue to increase (from ...
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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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