The European freight forwarders’ umbrella organization CLECAT welcomes the European Commission’s Aviation Package, published on 7 December 2015. As transport users, CLECAT members have a keen interest in a modern, innovative aviation sector, which guarantees choice, quality, connectivity, transparency and fair competition.
´Air cargo serves specific market needs, namely the transport of high-value, perishable and time-sensitive goods, says the organisation’s secretary-general Nicolette van der Jagt. “The booming
aviation market in the Middle East and Asia both follows shifts in global supply chains, and opens up new opportunities for European businesses to source goods and access new export
The EC package, which seeks to address the competitiveness of European aviation, is a timely initiative as the European air transport market seeks to adjust to competition from the Middle East and Asia. The shift in the global market’s centre of gravity to the East, and increasingly to the South East, over the past decades, has undoubtedly affected Europe’s position in the global supply chain, and as a global aviation hub. The Commission strategy therefore seeks to ensure growing access to these markets for European companies, and vice-versa, based on principles of fairness and transparency.
Vital element for a healthy economy
CLECAT believes that the promotion of a fair, competitive international air cargo market is a welcome step from the Commission and a vital element in the health of the economy. Europe’s location, existing aviation expertise and industry make it ideally positioned to be a global hub in an open, competitive international aviation market. As the new strategy addresses these issues on a general level, CLECAT looks forward to seeing specific cargo-related matters dealt with in future legislative proposals to implement the strategy.
Nicolette says that the European Commission Aviation Package is a step in the right direction of promoting a fair, open and transparent air transport market worldwide. “The success of the European Union’s internal aviation market in the past decades is an example for the rest of the world, and its benefits can and should be extended through smart negotiation with third countries. We have already seen this for instance in the agreement with the United States, and we welcome the prospect of further opening vis-à-vis the rapidly developing economies of the Middle East and Asia.”
CLECAT is looking forward to the new Commission strategy being put into practice, through negotiations with partners such as the Gulf countries and the Association of South East Asian Nations which would extend the EU open aviation market in return for commitment to fair and transparent competition. This would give freight forwarders, logistics companies and their customers a broader choice, and avoid counterproductive protectionism, which only serves to limit choice and inflate prices for transport users. CLECAT will publish a more extensive position paper on the EU’s aviation strategy.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels