Europe’s aviation stakeholders are calling on EU governments to step up actions aimed at protecting the industry from falling into liquidity as the Covid-19 crisis pushes ahead.
Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airline Catering Association (ACA), Airports Council International (ACI EUROPE), Airport Services Association (ASA), The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), European Regions Airline Association (ERA), EU Travel Tech (EUTT) and European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) are underlining the importance of solidarity and responsibility and at the same time urging decisionmakers to be “proactive and better coordinated”.
“We welcome the initial actions from the European Commission in targeted areas such as state aid, recognizing that entire markets are non-functioning and urgent aid is needed. The aviation sector is a strategically important sector. It must be positioned as a critical enabler of Europe’s economic recovery once the crisis has passed,” the aviation groups said in a joint statement this week.
Underlining that aviation accounts for more than 12 million jobs and some 800 billion euros in European economic activity, the group proposes the following measures: EU states provide financial support as quickly as possible to businesses across the travel industry ecosystem which is facing serious cash liquidity issues; take necessary measures to ensure the short-term financial viability of the travel industry enterprises, such as protecting employees and consumers and taking actions to restore air connectivity; and set up an organized consultation procedure for the exchange of updated information and solutions.
“The freedom of movement of citizens and goods sits at the core of the European project and would not be a reality without air transport,” the statement reads.
It should be noted that according to ACI World, the coronavirus outbreak is set to drive international airport passenger traffic volume down in the first quarter of 2020 by at least 12 percentage points against previous projections.