Europe’s top aviation bodies welcomed the European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy presented this week which aims to serve as the basis for how the Union’s transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation in line with European Green Deal goals, become more resilient to future crises as well as safe, accessible and affordable for all.
Five European aviation associations, namely Airlines for Europe (A4E), ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International), ASD, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), welcomed the plan which they said “reinforces the sector’s existing commitments towards a sustainable post-crisis future for aviation and sets the stage for concrete decarbonization proposals which will be unveiled next month”.
However they warned that the sector’s decreasing resources as a result of the Covid-19 crisis stand in the way, “presenting a major obstacle to achieving the required goals”.
They go on to add that this “will need to be factored in and fully addressed in the implementation of the strategy, both at EU and national levels”.
In view of this, the associations are calling on the Commission to work closely with the aviation industry in executing its strategy ensuring in this way the “continued alignment between the industry’s own efforts and the accompanying regulatory framework”, reiterating their call for the Commission to embrace, engage in and lead the EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation.
“The aviation industry now looks toward our own ‘great business reset’ as we recover from the disastrous impact of the pandemic. This is an opportunity for sustainable growth and resilience. But the devil is in the detail, and we need all stakeholders, including the Commission, to actively embrace and drive our proposed EU Pact forward,” the heads of the associations said in their joint statement.
Meanwhile, ECTAA, which represents some 70,000 travel agents and tour operators in Europe, also welcomed the EU’s mobility plan adding that it strongly supports the Commission’s intentions to facilitate multimodal travel, enhance consumer choice for all transport modes and protect such consumers in case of transport operator bankruptcy.
The association particularly hailed the strategy’s focus on consumers: “ECTAA and EU travel tech strongly support the intention of the Commission to address the passengers’ situation when transport operators go bankrupt,” it said in a statement.
“Early in the new year, we’ll unveil our own ambitious plan to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and we are counting on collaborative discussions with the Institutions as we take this decisive plan forwards,” the aviation bodies said.