Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Airlines For Europe Blame Air Traffic Control For Delays

Airlines for Europe are in combative mode and have issued a joint letter to all the European Air Navigation Service providers (ANSPs). In the letter the CEOs of A4E member airlines express their concerns regarding the disruption caused by air traffic control restrictions this summer, resulting in significant inconvenience for many European travellers. A4E calls on all EU ANSPs to take remedial action to address this both in the short and longer term.

Airlines for Europe is the largest airline association in Europe, it was launched, in January 2016 as a campaigning and lobbying club to force Governments and service providers to do what the member airlines want. The association is based in Brussels and its members include Aegean, airBaltic, Air France KLM, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP Portugal, Travel Service and Volotea. Together these airlines carry more than 550 million passengers each year on over 2,700 aeroplanes. 


“This July, delays have risen to more than two million minutes — an extraordinary increase of 12% compared to 2016 and 35% compared to 2015. Nearly 70% of all ATC regulations in July 2017 were non-weather related and caused by issues such as ATC capacity, staffing, and other issues which are within ANSPs’ control. We appreciate that the complexity in European airspace has grown drastically in recent years, but airlines expect a level of service that facilitates a stable operation,” said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E.

The association believes excessive ATC regulations this summer have caused airlines to fly longer routes or that the number of flights on certain routes has been restricted, which then causes knock-on effects throughout the airlines' network and may cause additional problems for the carriers such as crews going out of flight or duty hours

   
“Every day, airline staff, pilots and cabin crew are doing their utmost to manage the demanding operational environment this summer and airlines plan for a certain level of disruption, but today’s challenges require much more robust and network-wide solutions from ATC. More than 20 European ANSPs showed few to zero delays and outperformed some of their peers. In light of this, it is even more important that the Single European Sky is implemented more quickly and without delay to start delivering the benefits that can accommodate the current growth in air traffic for airspace users and, ultimately, for European passengers,” added Reynaert.

Rather interestingly, safety isn't mentioned, not once in the call for action Airlines For Europe issued today, they don't seem to care about the safe operation of air traffic control, the safety of their member's passengers in the air. No, for them it is all about the bottom line, it is all about the profit for their members!  




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