Almost every corner of Europe can nowadays be reached by a flight of less than four hours. This ability to travel easily throughout the continent has transformed the way Europeans live, work and wander. To the rest of the world, it has brought closer Europe’s wonders and opportunities. In no small part, aviation has contributed to the strengthening of ties between citizens, businesses, and governments across borders, materializing the cornerstones of European integration — the free movement of people and goods.

Recognizing the transformation of the airline industry and the considerable challenges it faces in Europe, the CEOs of Air France-KLM, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair came together in 2015, uniting beyond traditionally perceived divides between legacy and low-cost carriers. In an unprecedented way, the five largest European airlines decided to form a single voice for aviation’s most pressing issues in Brussels. 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) successfully launched in January 2016.

Today, A4E counts some 16 leading airline groups representing over 70 per cent of European air traffic as its members. Alongside the five founding members, new carriers both big and small, low-cost, leaser, legacy and cargo have joined, including: Aegean, airBaltic, Air France-KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI and Volotea. Beyond airlines, global manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, GE, and Thales have also become members of A4E.