Showing posts with label A4E. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A4E. Show all posts

04 October, 2022

A4E calls on all players in European aviation to learn the lessons of 2022 to prevent a repeat of the summer chaos

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is calling on all players in European aviation to step up and meet their responsibilities to ensure the mistakes of the past summer are not repeated.

Speaking today at the Eurocontrol Conference entitled Where to Next for European Aviation?, Managing Director Thomas Reynaert will highlight the challenges in ramping up capacity in the airline industry after nearly two years of relative inactivity and how airlines have been working tirelessly to overcome them. He will note however that airlines are highly dependent on a complex infrastructure that has failed to operate the way it should this summer.

From insufficient staffing at airport security, to slow border control and ATC strikes, Summer 2022 was filled with obstacles for airlines as they continue to recover from the devasting effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Of particular concern is the continued requests at short notice from some major European airports for airlines to reduce capacity due to their inability to cope with the quick uptick in passenger demand.


02 August, 2022

Airlines 4 Europe issue statement on its position on EU data act.....

The Data Act is part of the European Strategy for data, together with e.g. the Data Governance Act. It is intended to be a transversal document across all sectors regarding the rights to use data. As such, it is not intended to replace or change existing sectoral regulation, but it will be the framework for any future sectoral regulation.

This paper outlines the sectoral needs and views of airlines linked to the use of data generated during the operation of an aircraft. Such data is not only used to provide Air Navigation Services,  which is regulated within the Single European Sky framework — but also for internal airline analytics and processes linked to aircraft maintenance, operational improvements, safety management or reducing the environmental impact of flying.

The general view of airlines is that the data generated in-flight (and in general during aircraft operation) should be owned and controlled by the airline.

A4E therefore fully supports the European Commission’s approach to the Data Act to allow for open access to data generated by the use of connected products by airlines, aircraft operators and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organisations. This open access to data will lead to increased operational efficiency and flight safety, more efficient maintenance and repair processes as
well as increased sustainability.


“As a horizontal proposal, the Data Act envisages basic rules for all sectors as regards the rights to use data, such as in the areas of smart machinery or consumer goods. However, the rights and obligations on access and use of data have also been regulated to varying degrees at sectoral level. The Data Act will not change any such existing legislation, but future legislation in these areas should in principle be aligned with the horizontal principles of the Data Act.”1.

This document will deal with the sectoral view of airlines and aircraft operators (hereinafter jointly referred to as “aircraft operators”) as they rely heavily on data, its sharing, and analysis in two different areas:

  • Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Air Navigation Service Provision
  • Aircraft operator’s internal analytics and processes

Concerning ATM and the required operational data used to provide Air Navigation Services, it is mentioned in the draft text that this kind of data will fall under the auspices of the Single European Sky (SES) regulation and therefore will not be part of this paper. Unfortunately, the SES reform is progressing very slowly, and it is not yet clear what kind of data, or what usage will be covered in

Aircraft operators’ internal analytics and processes are directly linked to the EU Data Act. Aircraft operators use data analytics for optimising fuel consumption and technical operation, which can extend into other modes of transport. Aircraft MRO organisations use such data to develop and improve predictive maintenance tools helping aircraft operators to become more cost-efficient and sustainable. Unfortunately, retrieval and sharing of data is taxing and sometimes impossible, as dominant manufacturers of aircraft and connected products restrict access to “their” data.

09 July, 2022

Statement on European Parliament vote on ReFuel EU from A4E

Earlier this week the European Parliament voted in plenary to adopt a large part of the TRAN Committee’s report to increase the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), and support airlines in their climate efforts.


Classification of sustainable aviation fuel and use of feedstock: A4E welcomes the additional efforts made by the European Parliament to ensure that SAFs can be a reliable and legitimate way to help decarbonise air transport. By explicitly excluding certain feed and food crop-based fuels, for example fuels made from palm fatty acid distillates (PFAD), intermediate crops and palm or soy-derived distillates, MEPs have further instilled legitimacy in the SAF system. Passengers can now trust that the ramp up of sustainable fuels in the coming years will not occur at the expense of food supplies for people or animals, nor damage our environment. The success of the ReFuel EU Regulation initiative will reside in its capacity to bring predictability and legitimacy in sustainable aviation fuels.


Blending targets: Like many other elements of the Fit for 55 package, A4E airlines continue to be concerned that future legislation will price out certain passengers or peripheral regions of Europe, leading to a loss of their air connectivity as well as impact the competitiveness of European aviation and its tourism sector. Because SAFs, and especially e-fuels, will remain significantly more expensive than conventional jet fuel in the coming years, it is key that targets remain reasonable and that policy-makers work to limit the cost of the energy transition for passengers. Mechanisms such as a system of SAF allowances through the ETS will help bridge the price gap between SAF and conventional fuels, but risk falling short if not designed to offset the full loss of competitiveness and potential carbon leakage.


04 June, 2022

European Transport Ministers have agreed on two Fit for 55 Proposals: A4E cautions further adjustments needed ahead of final negotiations

- ReFuel EU: Adjustments on SAF blending targets, feedstock base and cost mitigation are critical to preserve competition and avoid carbon leakage.

- AFIR: A full exemption for the smallest airports to provide electrical ground power to aircraft is needed.

- Positions taken by EU Transport Ministers will help shape aviation’s future decarbonisation, but corrections are paramount.

                                    European Transport Ministers have agreed on two critical Fit for 55 legislative proposals which will shape the future decarbonisation of European aviation: The ReFuel EU Aviation and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). Once finalised, these two regulations will send important signals to the market and to the public regarding efforts needed to decarbonise air transport both in the air and on the ground. The Council position agreed today will now move to final negotiations with the European Commission and the European Parliament in the coming months before becoming law. During this “trilogue” process, A4E is calling for several adjustments to the two proposals which are critical for Europe’s airlines:


ReFuel EU Aviation: Revert to EC-proposed blending targets and EC definition of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); Ensure a harmonised EU blending approach and solidify cost support mechanisms (e.g. SAF allowances scheme)


A4E supports the original European Commission (EC) blending targets of 2% SAF by 2025 and 5% SAF by 2030 and urges all parties to align under these targets.


"The original targets as proposed by the EC were ambitious, but realistic. Any higher targets would further erode European airlines’ competitiveness and lead to carbon leakage by creating cost advantages for non-European airlines, especially those with transfer hubs just outside the EU – making non-EU tourism destinations more attractive”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).


20 May, 2022

The European Tourism Manifesto released by Airlines for Europe (A4E)

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, the voice of the travel and tourism sector in Europe, welcomes the ongoing progress of the revision of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) Regulation. While we strongly support countries in their efforts to progressively remove restrictions in the current phase, it is useful to keep the EUDCC at hand in case of a possible resurgence.

We also note that the EUDCC framework has become an international reference standard in which an increasing number of third countries participate. This success provides economic and administrative benefits to the EU, proving the value of a collaborative and unified approach to cross-border health credentials, adding sectoral resilience should the need for health controls reoccur.

Photo by Rudy Dong on Unsplash
As interinstitutional negotiations are moving ahead and are expected to be concluded in the coming weeks, we call on policymakers, both at EU and national level, to keep in mind the following elements:

Travel restrictions have proved to be ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus, at most postponing by a few days a new wave of infection 1. For instance, the World Health Organisation (WHO) underlined the failure of travel restrictions to limit international spread of Omicron variant and pointed out the “ineffectiveness of such measures over time 2”.
The verification of EUDCC shall not be used as a reason to impose additional restrictions to the freedom of movement such as the temporary reintroduction of controls at internal borders. Its use should be discontinued as soon as there is a clear indication that the virus has reached a manageable level of transmission that does not result in severe impacts on public health.
To enlarge the scope of the vaccines that may be used as the basis for the issuance of an EUDCC, all vaccines that have completed the WHO emergency use listing procedure should be included in the EUDCC. In addition, people who received a vaccine currently not on European Medicines Agency (EMA) or WHO list should still have a fully accepted EUDCC if they have received a booster vaccination with a vaccine authorized by WHO or EMA.
Should Member States resume the use of the EUDCC for travel, or allowing access to bars, restaurants, hotels, museums, sites, concert halls, trade fair centres and other venues, it is essential that national rules mirror border and travel requirements. Member States should accept all the certificates (vaccination, recovery, testing) that are accepted at the border at national level, as this would further support the recovery of the EU travel and tourism sector and offer clarity for non-EU travellers.
In addition, the EUDCC should be implemented consistently by Member States, particularly with regards to the rules for children and young adults below 18 years old.
Finally, we call on the European Commission to publish its COVID report, initially expected on April 30th. In view of the evolution of the epidemiological situation, the Commission should propose a revision of the two Council Recommendations on intra-EU and international travel, that were adopted back in January and February respectively during the peak of the Omicron wave.

Regarding travel into the EU, should the requirement for COVID certification still be considered necessary for border entry by Member States due to epidemiological reasons, the entry restriction on third-country travellers should be lifted and vaccine/recovery/test certification recognised on equal terms. The White List should be discontinued, moving fully to a person-based approach. The updated Recommendations should also foresee the lifting of all restrictions for travel within and into the EU, as soon as the epidemiological situation allows, especially considering the upcoming season which is critical for the sector’s recovery.



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1Oxera and Edge Health research, Impact of travel restrictions on Omicron in Italy and Finland, 26th January 2022 – link2World Health Organisation, Statement on the tenth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Temporary Recommendations to States Parties, 19th January 2022 – link Want me in your inbox? Follow here for email updates Air101 here.

31 March, 2022

Aviation remains one of the worst hit sectors, with Airlines 4 Europe airlines having lost nearly 500m passengers during COVID-19 pandemic.

Airline CEOs call for urgent action

Two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Europe, and five weeks after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, A4E CEOs are navigating back-to-back crises and have called on European policymakers to take urgent action on key legislative proposals that would strengthen airlines’ recovery prospects, protect and accelerate decarbonisation efforts and help rebuild passenger connectivity.

European aviation remains one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2020-2021, A4E airlines lost over 500m passengers compared to 2019, and some experienced staff cuts  (-150,000 employees) due to the pandemic. According to the latest IATA forecast, Europe’s airlines are not expected to post a profit until 2023, or 2024 at the earliest. A thriving and economically viable aviation sector in Europe is a key enabler for other industries’ recovery, including tourism.

With fuel representing up to 35% of airlines’ operating costs, and energy prices expected to remain high until at least 2023, EU aviation policies must reflect the "new reality" airlines in Europe are facing. Despite strong pent-up demand among Europeans to travel again, record oil and carbon prices[1] combined with lengthy detours around Russian airspace will weaken competition between European and non-European carriers for flights to/from Asia.

Key policies must be re-assessed and swiftly updated to help airlines mitigate rising costs on multiple fronts and operate more efficiently. For example, more cost-efficient air navigation services for flights within Europe could be realized along with an up to 10% reduction in CO2 emissions by implementing the Single European Sky, which remains in trialogue negotiations between the European Council, the European Parliament and European Commission. 

Without appropriate mitigation measures, future energy and climate policies will erode airlines’ competitiveness and lead to carbon leakage.

CEOs reiterated their commitment to reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and support European carbon reduction targets -- but stressed the need for global climate action and pricing support measures to level the playing field.  A4E CEOs want global uniform regulation, including a global carbon price for aviation which would stimulate low carbon technology development -- as well as using the system of ETS allowances to support the uptake of sustainable fuels.