15 Jun 2015 10:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has urged the European Commission to embrace “bold, exciting and world-leading reforms” as part of the Strategic Aviation Package to overhaul Europe’s air transport industry.
- Airline lodges detailed submission to European
Commission’s review of European air transport policy
- Says aviation is “global, not local”, and urges
EC to put competition and consumers first in Strategic Aviation Package
- Calls for easing of restrictions on market
access and investments by non-European airlines
In a detailed
submission to the Commission, the airline advocates a policy which actively
facilitates competition and consumer choice, addresses critical shortfalls in
aviation infrastructure and eases restrictions on market access and investments
by non-European airlines.
Etihad Airways says:
“We welcome the opportunity to contribute to this important process, given our
significant operations into Europe and our investments in a number of European
carriers. We believe that this gives us a unique perspective on the current regulatory
environment in Europe, as well as a sense of what needs to change in order to
ensure a vibrant and competitive industry in the future.
Aviation Package proposed by the European Commission represents a
significant ‘window of opportunity’ to
strengthen the European air transport sector as an economic and social enabler,
and a key driver of growth, through bold, exciting and world-leading
initiatives which improve the efficiency of the industry and increase global
proposes nine principles for progress:
1. Put competition and consumers at the
forefront of policy development;
2. Think globally, not locally;
3. Ensure that connectivity is at the
heart of EU aviation and transport policy;
4. Support innovation in business models, and
not artificially constrain them;
5. Promote transparency, efficiency and
legal certainty in order to attract external investment;
6. Take a holistic approach to security;
7. Tackle regulatory obstacles and infrastructure
inefficiencies, and fully reflect Better Regulation practices;
8. Encourage structural reforms in the air
transport industry, and;
9. Promote open skies.
The airline supports
its submission with expert research from three global consultancies, Oxford
Economics, Edgeworth Economics and The Risk Advisory Group.
Oxford Economics conducted a major economic
impact study which shows that Etihad Airways’ core operations and capital spending
in 2015 alone will support over 51,200 European jobs and contribute €3.3
billion to the EU’s GDP. The report also shows that in 2015, Etihad Airways will
contribute €1.7 billion to EU GDP through connectivity improvements.
The Risk Advisory Group prepared an analysis of the state support received by European flag
carriers prior to and following their privatisation. While Etihad Airways does
not challenge the European system, it seeks to demonstrate that this system has
created a distorted playing field for new entrants.
Edgeworth Economics conducted an
analysis of competition and connectivity in the European air travel industry
which showed significant growth in flights and demand between Europe and the
key regions served by Etihad Airways, as well as the competition and
connectivity impact of Etihad’s equity investments and codeshare partnerships.
The full content of
these studies can be accessed by visiting www.keeptheskiesopen.com