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Aviation industry welcomes European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy as it readies decarbonisation roadmap

By  Brussels, — Last updated on 11 December 2023

Brussels, 9 December 2020: Five leading European aviation associations, representing aircraft manufacturers, airlines, airports and air navigation service providers have welcomed the ambition of the European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, published earlier today. The Strategy is aligned with and reinforces the sector’s existing commitments towards a sustainable post-crisis future for aviation – and sets the stage for concrete decarbonisation proposals which will be unveiled next month.

As part of the Aviation Round Table Report, published on 16 November 2020, European aviation committed to work with policy-makers to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This report was formally presented to and welcomed by Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean.

While the aviation industry is thus perfectly aligned with the objectives of the Commission’s new strategy for transport, the associations warned that the sector’s decreasing resources as a result of the COVID-19 crisis stand in the way – presenting a major obstacle to achieving the required goals. This will need to be factored in and fully addressed in the implementation of the strategy – both at EU and national levels.

The associations stressed the need for the Commission to work closely with the aviation industry in executing its strategy. This will ensure continued alignment between the industry’s own efforts and the accompanying regulatory framework. They reiterated their call for the Commission to embrace, engage in and lead an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation – a proposal made by the Aviation Round Table Report of which net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 is a cornerstone.

The proposed EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation would establish an innovative cooperation framework between industry and EU leaders, with joint sustainability targets enabled through an effective regulatory and financial framework.

As part of that, the associations also signalled the forthcoming publication of their industry roadmap Destination 2050: “A Route Towards Net Zero European Aviation” which is currently being finalised by independent consultants with expert input from the five associations. It will be launched to the press and policymakers in the first weeks of 2021.

In their joint statement, the heads of the associations said:
“The aviation industry now looks toward our own ‘Great Business Reset’ as we recover from the disastrous impact of the pandemic. This is an opportunity for sustainable growth and resilience. But the devil is in the details, and we need all stakeholders – including the Commission – to actively embrace and drive our proposed EU Pact forward”.
“Early in the New Year we’ll unveil our own ambitious plan to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and we are counting on collaborative discussions with the Institutions as we take this decisive plan forward”.

Note to Editors:

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. The organisation advocates on behalf of its 16 airline group members to help shape EU aviation policy to the benefit of consumers, ensuring a continued safe and competitive air transport market. Follow us on Twitter @A4Europe.

ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International) is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 46 European countries. Our members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe: 2.5 billion passengers, 20.7 million tonnes of freight and 25.7 million aircraft movements in 2019. In response to the Climate Emergency, in June 2019 our members committed to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions for operations under their control by 2050, without offsetting.

ASD is the voice of European Aeronautics, Space, Defence and Security Industries, actively promoting and supporting the competitive development of the sector by advocating common positions towards European Institutions and International organisations. Follow us @ASDEurope.

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) is the global voice of air traffic management worldwide. CANSO Members support almost 90 percent of world air traffic. Members share information and develop new policies, with the ultimate aim of improving air navigation services on the ground and in the air. CANSO represents its Members’ views in major regulatory and industry forums, including at ICAO, where it has official Observer status. CANSO has an extensive network of Associate Members drawn from across the aviation industry. For more, visit

Founded in 1980, the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is a non-profit trade association representing over 60 airlines and around 150 companies involved in European air transport and is the only association representing the entire spectrum of companies involved in European aviation. The association promotes the interests of European airlines by lobbying European regulatory bodies on policy matters and promoting the social and economic importance of air transport and its environmental commitments.

Media Contacts:

A4E: Jennifer Janzen, +32 499 828294
ACI EUROPE: Virginia Lee, +32 2 552 09 82
ASD: Pierre Laffont, +32 473 13 11 64
CANSO: Johnny Pring, + 32 493 536124
ERA: Paula Bangle, +44 1276 485558