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A4E Welcomes European Parliament (EP) and Council’s Decision to Extend Temporary Airport Slots Waiver Through 24 Oct.

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  • Europe’s airlines need additional government support measures to manage unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

A4E fully welcomes today’s decisive action by members of the European Parliament — following the lead of EU Member States on 20 March, granting airlines a temporary waiver on the airport slots 80/20 rule through 24 October 2020. The waiver was initially proposed until 30 June 2020, however A4E had requested an extension for the duration of the summer period to give airlines and airports maximum certainty and flexibility in adapting their operations.

“We applaud EU Member States and the European Parliament for their swift action, which will help European aviation to better cope with this unprecedented crisis while also avoiding unnecessary CO2 emissions”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).

The latest IATA estimates project a 46% drop in passenger demandMeasured in Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs). Source, IATA economics: https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/third-impact-assessment/ across Europe in 2020 — the highest among all regions, globally, with a €69 bn ($76 bn) loss in passenger revenues. Such a decline puts at risk about 5.6 million jobs and €342 bn ($378 bn) in GDP supported by air transport.

To alleviate the financial pressure carriers are facing, A4E is asking the EU Institutions and national governments for additional urgent support measures, including:

  • Flexibility to allow airlines to offer passengers rebooking or refundable vouchers as an alternative to immediate refunds in the event of cancellations caused by the pandemic;
  • A deferment or a suspension of all en-route air traffic control (ATC) charges for the remainder of 2020;
  • A deferment or a suspension of aviation ticket taxes.

These measures should be introduced and implemented as a matter of priority by the EU Institutions and Member States in the coming weeks.

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 720 million passengers carried each year, A4E members account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s journeys, operating more than 3,000 aircraft and generating more than EUR 130 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 Group, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair Holdings, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI and Volotea. In 2019, A4E was named “Airline & Aviation Business Development Organisation of the Year” by International Transport News. Follow us on Twitter @A4Europe.