Just shortly after its launch Airlines for Europe (A4E), Europe’s new airline association, announced the first new airline members.
Norwegian, Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier based in Oslo, and network airline Finnair based in Helsinki agreed to join A4E and work hand in hand with its founding members Air France KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair.
“Airlines for Europe is open for business and ready to represent the interests of all European airlines. We will grow our member base over the next months, uniting more European airlines to take forward changes that will increase our competitiveness and result in lower fares and more choice for passengers. I am thrilled to welcome Norwegian and Finnair to A4E”, said Thomas Reynaert, A4E’s Managing Director.
Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “Norwegian has always believed in healthy competition among airlines to create more choice and lower fares for passengers. But we also firmly believe in an industry where low-cost and network carriers can unite to tackle the many issues we all face together. We are delighted to join Airlines for Europe to add our voice to the important debate about the huge challenges and opportunities our industry faces in the future.”
“Finnair looks forward working with A4E to enhance the dialogue with the key European stakeholders. We welcome the initiative to gather European airlines under the same roof regardless of their business model”, noted Pekka Vauramo, Finnair CEO. “Aviation is a significant contributor to the European economic growth and employment. Therefore it is vital that we participate in discussions on issues on common interest concerning our industry.”
Thomas Reynaert reemphasised A4E welcoming the European Commission’s Aviation Strategy for a stronger and more competitive European aviation industry but called on the EC to address large scale airport monopolies by removing high charges, taxation and inefficiencies within the aviation supply chain.