EU leadership must implement long-delayed Single Sky: A4E

A4E airline chiefs laid out their most pressing priorities for the new Commission mandate including urgent reform of Europe’s outdated air traffic management system ata recent meeting with new EU transport commissioner Adina-Iona Vălean.

In order to best contribute to the European Commission’s upcoming Green Deal strategy, A4E and other airlines say they are joining forces with Europe’s airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers in the development of a cross-sector climate initiative.

Run as an independent study, this sustainable aviation roadmap for Europe will identify opportunities for even greater industry decarbonisation, whether through technology, operations, sustainable aviation fuels or price incentives by 2030 and/or by 2050.

“The new European Commission has begun its work at a time of enormous challenges, but also tremendous opportunities for both the EU and its aviation industry,” said Michael O’Leary, A4E chairman. “A4E airlines stand behind Europe’s ambition to move towards a zero or low-carbon economy. Europe’s airlines take these goals very seriously and we are investing billions to more than contribute our share. We also know that this is an industry challenge which requires an industry solution, and we believe our sustainability roadmap will show us where we can do even more.”

Europe’s airlines said they have already reduced their fuel consumption per passenger kilometre by 24 per cent over the last 30 years by flying more fuel-efficient aircraft, and by making their overall operations more efficient.

A4E airlines are currently investing €170 billion through 2030 to operate the most fuel-efficient, next generation aircraft.

“It is critical that industry works in close partnership with the EU institutions,” said Thomas Reynaert, A4E managing director, “if we are to be successful in fulfilling Europe’s climate ambitions – whether it be on a dedicated policy for increased sustainable aviation fuel production at an economically affordable price, or by implementing the Single European Sky, which would save 10 per cent in CO2 emissions.”