Industry & Business

EU launches new aviation strategy to increase competition

EU launches new aviation strategy to increase competition

EU launches new aviation strategy to increase competition
December 08
14:08 2015

Airlines including Ryanair, and Aer Lingus owner IAG, have called on the European Commission to tackle airport charges and taxation across the trading bloc in an effort to boost the aviation industry.

The Commission, which is the EU’s executive, also asked national governments to give it a mandate to start talks on air transport agreements with a number of countries including China, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

The talks with the Gulf countries are likely to be fraught with difficulty since some European legacy carriers, notably Lufthansa and Air France KLM, accuse the Gulf airlines of receiving unfair state subsidies and have been pushing the Commission to address this in negotiations for air transport agreements.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said that European aviation is facing a number of challenges. She claimed the new strategy would “keep European companies competitive, through new investment and business opportunities”.

The strategy aims to tackle limits to growth in the sector, which is worth about €110bn in GDP to Europe every year, both on the ground and in the air.

“The main challenge for the growth of EU aviation is to address the capacity, efficiency and connectivity constraints,” the Commission said.

“The fragmentation of the European airspace costs at least €5bn a year and up to 50m tonnes of CO2.”

It warned that capacity constraints at EU airports could cost up to 818,000 jobs by 2035.

Aviation traffic in Europe is predicted to reach 14.4m flights a year in 2035, 50pc more than in 2012.

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