On June 17th, ElEconomista reported on the formation of an unprecedented lobby group made up of some the biggest names in European commercial aviation. Air France KLM, Easyjet, IAG, Lufthansa and Ryanair have formed a lobby to defend their interests before the drafting of new European air transport policy. The lobby is expected to put pressure on the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, on 80% of the subjects to be covered in this new policy.
The lobby has its priorities clear, one of the most important being the reduction of fees in the main European airports. European airport fees are the highest in the world and vary greatly depending on the country and airport. The lobbyists argue that the reduction would save the passengers money and create employment. This is especially interesting when considering Aena and its reluctance to consider lowering fees. Another measure would be to unify the airports in using a single till airport management model. This method, which is used in the UK but not by Aena, would sum the total income of commercial and air traffic activities instead of treating them as separate entities.
What will surely be a controversial subject is the regularization of striking. The lobby claims that they want workers and unions to have the ability to strike but do not want that ability to impair the functioning of air traffic. In light of the recent strikes seen by Spanish Air Traffic Controllers and the Ryanair handling staff this could be a heated topic between the lobby and workers unions.The group will support the elimination of passenger taxes in the entire EU, as Holland and Ireland have already done. They also look to liberalize the handling market, unlike Aena’s limit of licenses given to each airport, better regulate slot coordination and rationalize extreme security measures.
Photo: Violeta Bulc- European Commissioner for Transport by epp group – flickr