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Airline Associations Call on European Commission and Member States to Commit to Urgent Relief Measures for Airlines

20 April 2010
by IACA -- last modified 05 May 2010

Three airline associations – ELFAA (European Low Fares Airline Association), ERA (European Regions Airlines Association) and IACA (International Air Carrier Association) - today called on the European Commission and European Member States to give a firm commitment to support airlines affected by the crisis caused by the volcanic ash dispersion.


While much of European airspace remains closed, the airline industry continues to face enormous costs and logistical challenges.  European governments cannot ignore the massive economic consequences of their decisions on airlines.

Airlines are doing their utmost to take care of passengers and assist with the safe repatriation of passengers, according to their obligations under Regulation 261/2004.

However, airlines need further support to assist them with this huge task and European governments cannot shirk their responsibility to passengers affected by their decision.

Airlines note that Regulation 261/2004 is the only European regulation that imposes unlimited obligations regarding consumer rights on commercial companies for events that are totally outside their control.

When legislation concerning passengers' rights was drafted, legislators chose to ignore the industry's warnings that it was an inappropriate response to the type of Europe-wide crisis that airlines now face: its application now is transforming a crisis into an economic catastrophe.  Prolongation of this situation in which airlines are bearing these additional costs but earning no income, inevitably threatens their business viability with serious risks to both routes and jobs.

Equally important is financial compensation on an equitable basis to all airlines to ensure that the extra costs involved with the crisis and the loss of income to carriers do not threaten the financial viability of airlines to the point of bankruptcy.

ELFAA, ERA and IACA have proposed a series of operational and financial measures to the European Commission which urgently need to be put in place to alleviate the financial pressure currently on airlines.

The associations call upon the European Commission and Member States to give a firm commitment to airlines and implement these measures quickly.

The International Air Carrier Association (IACA) represents 33 airlines serving the leisure industry. IACA members operate over 800 state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient aircraft and directly employ more than 50,000 people. Each year IACA airlines transport over 100 million passengers to 650 holiday destinations worldwide.

International Air Carrier Association (IACA)