Regional operators provide vital connectivity in and around the regions of Europe, including peripheral regions and remote islands.
The ramifications of COVID-19 are not over exaggerated. Airlines are hemorrhaging cash rapidly and need urgent assistance to survive this crisis in the form of state aid, public loans and allowing the deferment of other payments.
ERA represents more than 60 European airlines and it is essential that financial relief reaches these smaller operators that maintain services to European territories and local communities reliant on aviation for their tourism and economic wellbeing.
In addition, ERA advocates temporary relief measures to be implemented for Regulation EU261, allowing delayed refunds to passengers for up to 12 months or refundable vouchers instead of immediate cash refunds. Passenger claims are fully understood, but this temporary measure would ensure travellers continue to benefit from unique and vital services provided by their local airline in the future.
Montserrat Barriga, ERA Director General, says: “We currently benefit from a truly European model that has been preserved for many years, and now more than ever, needs to be guaranteed and protected. ERA is asking for European institutions and member states to take courageous, decisive and immediate action that could indeed save the unique European airline ecosystem and the connectivity levels that citizens currently benefit from. This is our most desperate time. European regional aviation will be instrumental and a key element to our continent’s economic recovery and cannot be allowed to fail as a result of this silent killer.”
The full letter can be downloaded here.
Founded in 1980, ERA is a non-profit trade association representing 64 airlines and 149 companies involved in European air transport and is the only association representing the entire spectrum of companies involved in European aviation. The association promotes the interests of European airlines by lobbying the European Commission and other European regulatory bodies on policy matters, promoting the social and economic importance of air transport and its environmental commitments.