The influential airline association "Airlines for Europe" (A4E – 16 member airlines) launched an appeal to European policymakers today (12MAR20), calling for a large-scale support package.
Here is an excerpt of their text:
In light of the mounting impact of newly imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions in the U.S. and widespread flight cancellations across Europe, A4E airlines are demanding immediate action from European and national governments to reduce the economic impact of the crisis on the aviation sector. Urgent action on the following measures is required both to support Europe’s airlines in the short-term and aid in the industry’s economic recovery:
- Immediate passing of temporary airport slots waiver through summer season.
Such a waiver should be valid for the duration of the summer season and requires swift passage in both the European Council and the European Parliament.
- Deferment or waiver of new aviation taxes at EU or national level.
New fiscal burdens should be postponed until the industry is back on a sound operational and financial footing. This includes the provisions applicable to aviation in the Energy Taxation Directive (Council Directive 95/60/EC).
- Immediate clarity for airlines and passengers on COVID-19 counting as an extraordinary circumstance under Regulation 261/ air passenger rights.
Given the many travel restrictions (…), consideration should be given as to whether the current re-routing requirement is practical in all circumstances or if a longer time-frame for re-routing
could be permitted without giving rise to compensation payments, provided there is appropriate justification.
In their appeal, A4E urge the Commission and the EU Member States to support these measures. “Immediate action to alleviate the impact of this crisis on our sector is greatly needed. It is also vital that any national measures proposed by third countries to support their national industries do not undermine the competitiveness of European airlines or otherwise disadvantage EU aviation,” Managing Director Thomas Reynaert of A4E stated.
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