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  • Lack of airspace capacity, ill-suited policies and need for greater support on sustainability challenges
    are sounding the alarm bell for EU action
  • Improvements in Europe’s air traffic management (ATM) system, reform of EU passenger rights
    legislation and the regulation of airport charges would benefit passengers
  • Timely opportunity for EU leaders to ensure aviation’s long-term success

Brussels, 06 March 2019 – At its third-annual Aviation Summit, A4E called on the EU to take decisive action on several
crucial aviation policy issues that continue to negatively impact European airlines and their passengers, among them:
Europe’s inefficient air traffic management system, outdated passenger rights legislation and reform of the EU Airport
Charges Directive.

“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”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for
Europe (A4E).

“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”, Reynaert 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. 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”, said Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO and A4E Chairman.

A4E’s vision focuses on the safe, efficient and sustainable movement of passengers and goods throughout the region.
In order to meet these challenges, the EU must:

  • Ensure that Member States take measures to minimise the impact of disruptions on the movement of people
    and goods across Europe, both in the air or on the ground
  • Revise Regulation 261/2004 in order to establish a clear, proportionate and stable legal framework on air
    passenger rights
  • Steer clear of quick fixes to pressing and complex environmental challenges – focusing instead on helping air
    transport reduce its dependency on fossil fuels by supporting research and development initiatives
  • Ensure that ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will be the only
    CO2 tackling measure applicable to emissions from international flights within Europe as of 2021
  • Protect consumers by ensuring that aviation does not become a cash-cow for national governments and
    monopoly providers
  • Revise the 2009 Airport Charges Directive to ensure that monopoly airports stop driving up the cost of flying in

In addition, governments must urgently take concrete action to realise the principles of a seamless European sky for
their citizens, allowing the EU to finally implement the Single European Sky initiative. Member States must implement
the European Commission’s recommended 2017 mitigation practices to address air traffic control strikes
Looking ahead towards the next European Parliament and Commission term, A4E invites the candidates and political
groups to support its call for action. The “Call for the Future of Air Travel in Europe” is available on the A4E website.

About A4E
Launched in 2016, Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. The organisation
advocates on behalf of its members to help shape EU aviation policy to the benefit of consumers, ensuring a continued
safe and competitive air transport market. With more than 700 million passengers carried each year, A4E members
account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s journeys, operating more than 2,900 aircraft and generating more
than EUR 110 billion in annual turnover. Members with air cargo and mail activities transport more than 5 million tons of
goods each year to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft. Current members include
Aegean, airBaltic, Air France-KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlin