Etihad Airways urges European air transport reform

Etihad Airways recently encouraged the European Commission to adopt a Strategic Aviation Package that includes reforms that would improve the air transport industry in Europe.

The national airline for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Etihad Airways sent a detailed submission to the commission in support of a policy that improves shortfalls in aviation infrastructure, facilitates consumer and competition choice, and softens market access restrictions and investments from non-European airlines.

“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,” Etihad Airways said. “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.”

Etihad Airways suggested nine principles to the commission, including: putting competition and consumers at the forefront of policy development; thinking globally, not locally; ensuring that connectivity is at the heart of EU aviation and transport policy; supporting innovation in business models, and not artificially constraining them; taking a holistic approach to security; promoting transparency, efficiency and legal certainty in order to attract external investment; tackling regulatory obstacles and infrastructure inefficiencies, and fully reflecting Better Regulation practices; promoting open skies; and encouraging structural reforms in the air transport industry. 

“Aviation in 2015 is global, not local,” James Hogan, the president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said. "By taking a strategic and holistic approach to aviation policymaking, the European Commission can deliver meaningful change, not just for Europe, but also for the benefit of air travelers and the airline industry worldwide, just as the U.S. did with its visionary Open Skies Policy.”