Showing posts with label Airlines For Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Airlines For Europe. Show all posts

01 December, 2023

Sunclass Airlines joins Airlines for Europe

Airlines for Europe (A4E), representing the united voice of Europe’s leading airlines in Brussels, has welcomed another airline to its umbrella  - the 17th full member is Nordic charter operator Sunclass Airlines.

You might not have noticed Sunclass Airlines, but it was founded more than 60 years ago and is part of the Nordic Leisure Travel Group which operates services from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland to the Mediterranean, West Africa, Asia, and Caribbean. With a strong commitment to service excellence and a track record of providing seamless travel experiences, Sunclass Airlines brings a unique perspective to A4E from an important segment of the air travel industry.

‘’We are delighted to welcome Sunclass Airlines to the A4E family. Their expertise in the tourism and charter aviation markets will complement our activities around sustainable and affordable aviation. As the EU Fit for 55 package of legislation is fully implemented over the next few years, A4E will be relying on the insights from our member airlines and the regions they service to make this a smooth transition for all,” said Ourania Georgoutsakou, Managing Director of A4E.

“The addition of Sunclass Airlines to the A4E membership illustrates the diversity of Europe’s aviation market, the many reasons why people fly and the many ways in which local communities benefit from aviation," she continued.

 Valdemar Warburg, CEO of Sunclass Airlines says, “A4E has a mission to empower a safe, sustainable and competitive market for European aviation. These are the same priorities and objectives that we have at Sunclass Airlines, and something that we as a company must constantly focus on in order to meet our customers' expectations and our own very ambitious targets”, says 

30 November, 2023

Member States should seize opportunity of new passenger rights proposals to break deadlock on reform of Air Passenger Rights Regulation

Europe’s leading airlines are urging EU member states to use new proposals on passenger rights to unlock the impasse on a wider reform that has gone nowhere for a decade. This will deliver the necessary clarity for airlines and passengers alike and ensure a smoother and more efficient system for passenger rights.

The European Air Passengers Rights Regulation EC261/2004 establishes common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or long delays of flights. A revised proposal, which the European Commission adopted in March 2013, aims to clarify the definition of 'extraordinary circumstances' in case of flight cancellations or delays, introduce the new right on rerouting and expends the passenger’s right to information about flight disruption. Although Council has held debates on the Commission’s proposal since October 2013 and made some progress on the file, it has not agreed on a general approach for negotiations with the Parliament.

The proposal presented this week is part of a package of legislation that would offer some limited improvements to protecting passengers in Europe. On the one hand, there are positive moves to providing more clarity to passengers and airlines, particularly on multimodal transport and on the obligations on what information intermediaries must provide. But there remains a significant lack of clarity over key aspects of the core air passenger rights legislation, including what constitutes an extraordinary circumstance and under which conditions passengers are entitled to compensation. This is despite the Commission recommending such changes ten years ago.

A4E urges member states to heed the words of Commissioner Vฤƒlean and discuss the original reform proposal together with today’s new proposals to deliver a clear and unified regulation that offers full clarity for passengers and transport operators.

Rania Georgoutsakou, Managing Director of Airlines for Europe, said:  “Today’s proposal is a tentative step in bringing coherence to the tangled web of passenger rights in Europe but it does not address the elephant in the room which is the urgent need for the EU to revise the core regulation on passenger rights known as EU261 whose lack of clarity has led to more European Court of Justice decisions than any other regulation.”

“There is now an opportunity for member states to revive the decade old proposal to reform the EU’s air passenger rights Regulation and in particular lift the fog of uncertainty over what is an extraordinary circumstance. Member states should seize the opportunity to deliver a clear and simple set of rules. This would put an end to the endless growth of claim farms that have been clogging courts and damaging the relationship between passengers and airlines”, she continued.

16 September, 2023

Calling off French ATC strike is only a temporary reprieve unless concrete action is taken warns boss of European airline association

Thousands of rugby fans were breathing a little easier after French air traffic control (ATC) workers called off their strike during the week. This would have been the 38th strike day by French ATC workers which is more than the total combined number of strike days in the rest of Europe.  

While it is a welcome development that French ATC has headed to the negotiation room over the picket line, this is only a temporary reprieve unless concrete measures are put in place to manage the impact of ATC strikes in Europe. 

A4E respects the right to strike but given the level of disruption experienced this year, it has presented a series of actions that would ensure European passengers can continue to fly freely including the protection of overflights, while also ensuring this is not at the expense of departures and arrivals in the country where the strike originates. This temporary reprieve highlights shows how measures such as a 21-day advance notification of strike action and mandatory arbitration can have a positive impact for passengers. 

14 September, 2023

European aviation industry looks forward to global progress following adoption of European legislation on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

The five leading European aviation associations representing Europe’s airlines, airports, civil aeronautics industry and air navigation service providers, which are close partners through the DESTINATION 2050 alliance – A4E, ACI EUROPE, ASD, CANSO Europe, and ERA – welcomed the adoption of the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation and look forward to further SAF deployment globally. 

The adoption marks an important and timely step necessary to realising the ambitious decarbonisation targets set out in the DESTINATION 2050 roadmap. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) are a crucial component of this roadmap and today’s adoption of the ReFuelEU legislation lays the foundation for ambitious blending shares of SAF in aviation fuel. 

While EU investors and industrial partners have now received a clear signal to unleash their investments, the EU shall ensure that the required uptake of SAF consumption will boost the European SAF industry. The international race to become a SAF leader has started and the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation should therefore be complemented with further incentives to scale up SAF production and uptake in Europe through their inclusion into the EU Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) as part of the strategic net-zero technologies, mirroring the US approach in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

11 September, 2023

Laurent Donceel appointed Deputy Managing Director at Airlines for Europe (A4E)

Airlines for Europe (A4E) has appointed Laurent Donceel as Deputy Managing Director. Since joining A4E in 2016, Laurent has been a cornerstone of its team and has played an important role in its development into Europe’s leading airline trade association. 

As Deputy Managing Director, Laurent will offer strategic guidance to A4E’s Executive Committee and partner with Managing Director Ourania Georgoutsakou to further build on A4E’s seven-year legacy of success and enhance its presence and voice. He will continue to lead on sustainability topics as A4E’s members continue to accelerate their efforts to achieve Net Zero emissions as part of the Destination 2050 initiative. 

Commenting on the appointment, Ourania Georgoutsakou said,  “I’m delighted to have been able to make this appointment. Laurent's invaluable experience and his deep industry knowledge will be instrumental in helping A4E continue to achieve success. I’m pleased that he will maintain his leadership on sustainability issues and will be instrumental in our work with policymakers as the Fit for 55 sustainability package is implemented. He will also continue to collaborate with our members as they ramp up their work to implement the Destination 2050 roadmap to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

On his new role, Laurent Donceel said:  “I’ve had the pleasure of seeing firsthand how A4E has grown into Europe’s leading airline trade association and I’m excited about this new chapter in its development. I look forward to taking on more responsibility for A4E’s strategic direction and, together with Managing Director Ourania and the wider A4E team, I’m confident that we can continue to be a strong and respected advocate for our members in Brussels and across Europe.”    

A4E is a group of 16 airlines which represent over 70% of European air traffic and carried over 700 million passengers in 2019. Leading global aircraft manufacturers are also members of A4E. Airlines with cargo and mail activities transport more than 5 million tons of goods to more than 360 destinations annually.

17 May, 2023

Airlines demand swift EU action to avert ATC strike fallout this summer

Swift action needed to avoid strikes
Europe’s leading airlines are calling on the European Commission to step up to stop escalating industrial action from derailing summer travel for millions of passengers.

Already this year, a wave of strikes has impacted air travel in Europe resulting in over 3,000 flight cancellations and 23,000 flight delays disrupting the plans of over 10 million passengers. As the summer season ramps up, the potential for millions more passengers to have their travel plans ruined by strikes is high.

A4E is calling on the Commission to support Member States to ensure European passengers can continue to fly freely this summer. This can be achieved through: 

Mandatory arbitration before ATC unions can threaten strike action
A 21-day advance notification of strike action
Providing a 72h advance individual notification of participation in industrial action
Protection of overflights, while ensuring this is not at the expense of departures and arrivals in the country where the strike originates.
Right of redress with ANSPs for the impact of disruption.

19 April, 2023

European Parliament vote approving SAF allowances in EU ETS

European Parliament vote approving SAF allowances in EU ETS
is important step for aviation decarbonisation

The 20 million ‘SAF allowances’ passed in today’s ETS vote at the European Parliament are an important part in accelerating aviation’s decarbonisation. They will help stimulate and incentivise the rapid deployment of sustainable aviation fuels in Europe. Without them, the phase out of free ETS allowances by 2026, well before truly effective decarbonisation solutions will be available at scale, could negatively impact air transport. This is because the cost of compliance for the ETS will likely increase fivefold by 2025 to over EUR 5-6 billion annually which would impact ticket prices, route availability and ultimately connectivity. 

Therefore, now is the time for the EU to do everything it can to ramp up sustainable fuel production. Countries around the world, such as the USA through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), are willing to throw public funds behind sustainable fuels. This is placing the future competitiveness of European aviation and the European SAF industry at stake. 

Now more than ever, all revenues generated from ETS aviation allowances should:

 Contribute to lowering the price gap between conventional fuels and SAF

Fund R&D and innovation projects for low- and zero-carbon fuels and propulsion technologies;

Fund the scaling up and deployment of SAF

29 March, 2023

A4E CEOs inject new impetus into airspace reform and call for new ways to finance air traffic management in Europe

have said that multiple crises can no longer be used as excuses to delay airspace reform in Europe and now is the time to deliver for airlines, passengers and the environment. Half a decade after creating the Seamless European Sky initiative with players from across aviation, A4E is rebooting cross-industry collaboration to collectively push for reform of Europe’s skies. The CEOs said that the time for excuses is over as traffic levels get closer to their pre-COVID 2019 peak. This increased traffic means that the need for a seamless and digitalised airspace is more pressing than ever.

Airspace reform would unlock a whole host of benefits for passengers, airlines and the environment including:

Enabling airlines to fly the most efficient routes and unlocking significant CO2 savings of up to 10%;
Reducing delays and ruined travel plans for passengers;
Improving airspace capacity which can allow for greater connectivity for consumers; 


In recent years there has been massive innovation and reform in various aspects of flying in Europe, from new aircraft technology to widespread digitalisation. However, the pace of reform with Europe’s airspace has failed to match this, most visibly with the failure to implement the Single European Sky (SES) legislation. The CEOs repeated their call for the SES2+ legislation to be implemented immediately as part of wider reform of Europe’s airspace.

At its annual summit, A4E also unveiled a new study from Transport and Mobility Leuven, a Katholieke Universiteit Leuven owned research body, which found that Europe needs a new way of financing Air Traffic Management (ATM) to ensure airlines are not the only ones left picking up the tab during future crisis situations. Airlines have been left on the hook for EUR 5.6 billion as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In some regions, unit costs increased between 2019 and 2021 by 130% without any changes in performance, as noted by the EU’s Performance Review Body (PRB).

05 December, 2022

EU Transport Ministers should seize the opportunity for a strong and sustainable European airline industry

EU Transport Ministers should seize the opportunity for a strong and sustainable European airline industry


Ahead of today’s transport ministerial meeting in Brussels, Airlines for Europe (A4E) is calling on transport ministers to turn words into action and focus on policies that can help to maintain a strong and competitive European airline industry.

Europe has faced multiple crises this year which has highlighted the need to ensure airlines can operate in a cost-efficient manner within a robust single market for aviation.

This week marks an important milestone for European aviation with key negotiations due to take place on ReFuelEU, the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) and on the Single European Sky. These files will have a significant impact on the future of Europe’s aviation industry so it is crucial to get them right.

A4E has written to EU transport ministers outlining key recommendations such as a single Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) mandate to go with ambitious but achievable quotas for SAF, as well as pricing mechanisms to close the gap between SAF and fossil fuel. We also continue to urge member states to seize the opportunity of Single European Sky and its potential 10% reduction in emissions.

Commenting ahead of the meetings of ministers and other policymakers this week, Managing Director of A4E Thomas Reynaert said, “Aviation is a critical mode of transport for millions of Europeans and we urge policymakers to focus on implementing policies that can help airlines achieve their ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050 while also maintaining a robust and competitive aviation market in Europe.”

28 October, 2022

Airlines head into winter season with increased certainty thanks to EU agreement on slot relief

Airlines head into winter season with increased certainty thanks to EU agreement on slot relief


A4E says any revision to Slots Regulation should reflect today’s operational realities


A4E airlines are heading into the winter season this weekend with more certainty for their operations following the final agreement on slot relief reached between the EU institutions. The agreement, which entered into force this week, ensures that exemptions from the normal slot rules can be granted in circumstances beyond airlines’ control.

A4E maintains that a use rate of seventy percent for winter 2022/23 would have given airlines more flexibility to react to disruptive events in a volatile operational and economic environment, particularly in light of the latest Eurocontrol forecast. This shows air traffic recovering to 84% of 2019 levels this year and only making a full recovery by 2024 at the earliest. However, the final act includes important provisions on justified non-use of slots and simplifies the process for lowering the slot use rate if necessary.*

This weekend will also see the removal of the passenger cap at Heathrow Airport, one of Europe’s largest air hubs. Following the highly disruptive decisions by some European airports to reduce capacity in the middle of this year’s summer season this year, A4E urges airports to ensure that they do not introduce any arbitrary limits on capacity during the winter. This is particularly important if such limits will disrupt the plans of passengers at short notice during the Christmas period, traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

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.