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ACI Europe and aviation stakeholder associations publish joint COVID-19 statement

As the aviation industry continues to struggle amidst the COVID-19 crisis, ACI Europe and other European aviation stakeholder associations have called for better financial support.

ACI Europe call for more support during COVID-19

The stakeholder associations representing Europe’s aviation industry have united in calling on European Union (EU) institutions and member states to provide quick and targeted support to the industry, which has come to a complete halt and is struggling to survive the COVID-19 crisis

The statement has been signed by:

  • Olivier Jankovec, Director General of Airports Council International (ACI) Europe
  • Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of Airlines for Europe (A4E)
  • Fabio Gamba, Director General of the Airline Catering Association (ACA) and Director General of the Airport Services Association (ASA)
  • Eric Drésin, Secretary General of the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA)
  • Montserrat Barriga, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA)
  • Julie Lassaigne, Secretary General of the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC)
  • Emmanuel Mounier, Secretary General of EU Travel Travel Tech (EUTT).

Aviation is a strategically important sector that makes a vital contribution to Europe’s overall economy and employment. In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Europeans are no longer able to travel, the vast majority of aircraft in Europe have been forced to ground, the sale of flight tickets has come to an almost complete stop and airports across the continent have come to a standstill.

Whilst welcoming the initiatives of the European Commission (EC) in targeted areas such as state aid, recognising that entire markets are non-functioning and urgent aid is needed, the organisations representing all stakeholders of the air travel value chain and air transport ecosystem in Europe have called for better coordinated and proactive actions to support the aviation industry and aid in its future recovery following the resolution of the pandemic.

Measures suggested within the joint statement include:

  • Member States must provide financial support as quickly as possible to the whole travel ecosystem – there is currently a cash liquidity issue at every level of the air travel ecosystem and, to face this liquidity crisis, it is crucial that all actors and supporting measures are considered on a non-discriminatory basis
  • The European institutions must take all necessary measures to ensure the short-term financial viability of the travel industry enterprises with the objective of maintaining a functioning travel industry, protecting employees and consumers alike, and help them to efficiently restore air connectivity and support the re-growth of European economies
  • The crisis affects the entire travel ecosystem and coordination is crucial – it is essential to set up an organised consultation procedure, flexible and informal as in the tourism industry, to exchange updated information, address urgent issues and draw up lines for mid- and long-term solutions.

Europe’s citizens, communities and visitors will see its vibrance restored more rapidly if the air transport sector can quickly recover once the COVID-19 health crisis has passed. No small part of this depends on governments providing firm supportive measures immediately. 

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