Ministers of Transport of the EU Member States met today to discuss the way forward for the implementation of the Single European Sky. The informal Council meeting in Vilnius was organised by the Lithuanian Presidency with the aim of gathering ministers and key aviation stakeholder representatives to exchange views on the developments of this initiative. Mr Athar Husain Khan, acting Secretary General of the Association of European Airlines (AEA) presented the view of its member airlines.
So far attempts to harmonise the European airspace have failed. The realisation of the key elements laid down in the so-called Single European Sky II+ package would mean an overall reduction of 8.1 million tonnes of CO2, 19.4 million minutes of flight delays and €5 billion in annual cost savings.
“Despite some minor achievements, the Commission goals have not been met due to lack of commitment from Member States. Most of the initiatives such as the performance targets were watered down or are simply window dressing exercises” highlighted Mr Khan during his intervention. “We welcome the opportunity by the Lithuanian Presidency to share our concerns today. European airlines want no more delays or excuses. The Commission has put forward timely and achievable targets. Now it’s time for the Member States to take the necessary steps to finally make SES a reality.”
ABOUT AEA: The Association of European Airlines (AEA) brings together 31 European established scheduled network carriers. These collectively carry 400 million passengers and 6 million tonnes of cargo each year, operating 2,600 aircraft serving 640 destinations in 170 countries with 11,000 flights a day. They provide around 390,000 jobs directly, and generate a total turnover of €93 billion.