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A4E Statement on Proposal to Temporarily Defer ATC Charges

By  Brussels, — Last updated on 8 December 2023

A4E welcomes the recent proposal by EUROCONTROL for a temporary deferment of airlines’ February-May en-route ATC charges, with payments beginning in November 2020. This is a much-needed first step that will help alleviate airlines’ liquidity constraints in the short term.

Due to the unprecedented situation, we continue to urge Member States and the European Commission to take the necessary action and consider further steps that would help European airlines reduce their financial burdens due to the COVID-19 crisis.

With European aviation coming to a standstill, airlines will generate little to no revenue in the coming months while continuing to incur significant unavoidable fixed costs. Air traffic has decreased by 80% or more across Europe, and many A4E airlines have suspended operations completely until further notice.See latest Eurocontrol traffic figures here. The latest IATA estimates project a €69 bn ($76 bn) loss in passenger revenues across Europe, the highest among all regions globally. Such a decline puts at risk about 5.6 million jobs and €342 bn ($378 bn) in GDP supported by air transport.

“Airlines are fighting for their survival.  While a temporary deferral of ATC charges is helpful in the short term, it is clear that more measures — including a full-year waiver or further deferment of charges — may also be needed to secure the survival of the sector and aid in its recovery”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).