Today, the European Commission published its proposed new measures to help air passengers obtain their rights in Europe. The Association of European Airlines (AEA) welcomes the fact that the European Commission has reviewed the existing regulation, which has been challenged by both airlines and passengers, with an exceptional number of cases having been referred to the European Court of Justice for clarification. Earlier this afternoon,
CEOs of AEA airlines met with Vice-President and Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas to reiterate the need for more coherent and comprehensive rules on compensation and assistance to passengers, as well as adequate and harmonised implementation across the EU.
In 2012, AEA member airlines carried a total of 370 million passengers. In the highly competitive environment of air transport, it is in the interest of AEA airlines to provide the highest quality of services and care for the benefit of their passengers. The existing regulation has a significant number of serious shortcomings.
The volcanic ash crisis in 2010 and the recent severe weather conditions have clearly demonstrated that extraordinary events outside the airlines’ control can strike at any time, in which cases the airlines should be exempt from liability. Also, in cases where disruptions are caused by other actors in the aviation value chain, liability should be shared.
“We acknowledge the efforts of the European Commission to review the regulation, but we have also voiced our concerns about proposals such as the fact that technical problems are not considered as extraordinary circumstances, as well as the potential costs and the administrative and operational burden on the industry“ said Athar Husain Khan, acting Secretary General of AEA.
“We look forward to the upcoming discussions with the European Parliament, EU Member States and consumer organisations. It is our firm belief that not only passengers but the whole industry could benefit from the implementation of a flawless legislation.”
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ABOUT AEA: The Association of European Airlines (AEA) brings together 32 European established scheduled network carriers. These collectively carry 400 million passengers and 6 million tonnes of cargo each year, operating 2,600 aircraft serving 640 destinations in 170 countries with 11,000 flights a day. They provide around 390,000 jobs directly, and generate a total turnover of €93 billion.