The EUROCONTROL Member States have agreed a financial package enabling airlines to defer the payment of up to €1.1 billion of air traffic control fees due for payment to Europe’s air traffic management industry in the coming months.
As a result of COVID-19, the number of flights operating daily in European airspace has declined by 90%. This dramatic reduction in operations is likely to continue for a number of weeks to come and therefore the airline industry had sought the support of EUROCONTROL Member States to help it deal with its sudden and significant cash flow crisis.
“I am really delighted that our Member States have approved this essential measure. It will provide much needed liquidity support. Many airlines contacted EUROCONTROL to confirm that they would not be in a position to facilitate their next payments. With traffic down 90%, our Member States have clearly recognised the shared challenge. This payment deferral will ease the immediate burden on airlines and it provides certainty on financial planning to both airlines and the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) on when payments will be made after the crisis has abated.
“It is important to acknowledge the overwhelming support provided by our Member States for this measure, along with their air navigation service providers, as it provides vital assistance to the airline industry in their hour of need,” said Eamonn Brennan, Director General, EUROCONTROL.