A4E CEOs call on EU to complete the single aviation market and to throw its weight behind the decarbonisation of aviation

Europe’s leading airline CEOs have called on European policymakers to strengthen and secure the competitiveness of European aviation thirty years after the single aviation market took effect.  

These reforms are crucial as a global race for sustainable investment takes flight. The US Inflation reduction Act (IRA) has thrown down the gauntlet when it comes to investments in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and it’s critical that the EU seizes the opportunity presented by the Net Zero Industry Act to develop a world leading SAF industry to help airlines reach their target of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The creation of the EU’s Single Market for Aviation remains a landmark achievement to be celebrated, making air travel cheaper, safer and open to more people than ever before. Aviation supports millions of jobs in the EU, contributes over €600 billion in value add and accounts for around 4% of the EU’s GDP.The sector also plays an essential role in ensuring Europe’s connectivity, fostering social and cultural value for Europe and guaranteeing affordable and open travel for European citizens.

The CEOs urged EU policymakers to not let another anniversary pass by and to take decisive action to complete the Single Aviation Market. This will only happen with progress on key reforms that have stalled including:

  • No movement on the airport charges directive (ACD);
  • A decade passing since the European Commission first proposed reforming EU261on passenger rights;
  • Europe continuing to operate with an outdated approach to airspace;

“Airlines are a key contributor to Europe’s economy and enable millions of Europeans to live, work and travel across our continent. Thirty years after airline deregulation took effect, it’s time for the EU to get a move on and deliver the growth enhancing regulatory framework it has talked about to strengthen European airlines and deliver for consumers,” said Laurent Donceel, Acting Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E).

Incoming A4E Chair and IAG CEO Luis Gallego said, “With the mandate coming in 2025 under ReFuel EU, Europe needs a supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). But in order to scale-up production in Europe, industry will require further investment support. The opportunity is there, as, with the right policies, 30 SAF plants could be built across Europe over the next eight years, saving seven million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030 and providing thousands of jobs.”

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