June 28, 2010 – The
International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed frustration by
the lack of progress on key aviation issues during Thursday’s meeting of
EU Transport Ministers in Geneva.
“In April, Europe’s
over-reaction to the Icelandic volcano cost the European economy EUR 5
billion. This embarrassment of global proportions was a wake-up call for
two key areas. Europe needs to develop a system in line with
international practices on dealing with volcanic ash,” said Giovanni
Bisignani, CEO of IATA.
“Second, it must review its compensation
regulations for flight cancellations and delays which were applied in a
way never intended by the original legislation.
unacceptable that a month after the volcano went dormant, the EU
transport ministers have lost the sense of urgency to address these
issues. We are eager to work with the European leadership to develop the
solutions needed. But yesterday’s meeting was a frustrating
Moreover, Bisignani criticized the failure of
the EU Transport Ministers to address the costs of the mismanagement of
unnecessary closure of airspace cost airlines at least $1.8 billion
in lost revenues as well as compensation to passengers. It is
critical that the EU follow-up with guidance to its member states on
compensating airlines for these losses,” said Bisignani.
IATA is also asking
to address distortions to measurements of airline carbon emissions
created by airspace closures. “As 2010 is a baseline year for
determining allocations under Europe’s
emissions trading scheme due to take effect in 2012, accuracy is
critical. We continue to
oppose regional ETS schemes like that which is being proposed by
Europe. But if Europe’s
transport ministers are determined to implement it in 2012, they must
address this extra-ordinary distortion,” said Bisignani.
Finally, Bisignani reiterated his call for a real European Single
European Sky (SES). “We have been waiting decades for Europe to unite its skies. The volcano resulted in tiny
promises of incremental progress on some elements of the SES. As the
transport ministers are not able to take leadership on this issue, I
call on heads of State to end the decades of embarrassment caused by
this European failure and set a date for the Transport Ministers to
deliver the EUR5 billion ($6.5 billion) savings that a real SES will
bring,” said Bisignani.