No Progress at EU Transport
Geneva - The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) expressed frustration by the lack of progress on key aviation
issues during yesterday’s meeting of EU Transport Ministers.
“In April, Europe’s over-reaction to the Icelandic volcano
cost the European economy EUR 5 billion. This embarrassment of global
proportions was a wake-up call for two key areas. Europe needs to develop
a system in line with international practices on dealing with volcanic
ash. Second, it must review its compensation regulations for flight
cancellations and delays which were applied in a way never intended by
the original legislation. It is unacceptable that a month after the
volcano went dormant, the EU transport ministers have lost the sense of urgency
to address these issues. We are eager to work with the European
leadership to develop the solutions needed. But yesterday’s meeting was a
frustrating disappointment,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director
General and CEO.
Moreover, Bisignani criticized the failure of the EU
Transport Ministers to address the costs of the mismanagement of the
crisis. “The unnecessary closure of airspace cost airlines at least $1.8
billion in lost revenues as well as compensation to passengers. It is
critical that the EU follow-up with guidance to its member states on
compensating airlines for these losses,” said Bisignani.
IATA is also asking Europe to address distortions to
measurements of airline carbon emissions created by airspace closures.
“As 2010 is a baseline year for determining allocations under Europe’s
emissions trading scheme due to take effect in 2012, accuracy is
critical. We continue to oppose regional ETS schemes like that
which is being proposed by Europe. But if Europe’s transport ministers are
determined to implement it in 2012, they must address this extra-ordinary
distortion,” said Bisignani.
Finally, Bisignani reiterated his call for a real European
Single European Sky (SES). “We have been waiting decades for Europe to
unite its skies. The volcano resulted in tiny promises of incremental
progress on some elements of the SES. As the transport ministers are not
able to take leadership on this issue, I call on heads of State to end
the decades of embarrassment caused by this European failure and set a
date for the Transport Ministers to deliver the EUR5 billion ($6.5
billion) savings that a real SES will bring,” said Bisignani.
- IATA -
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