The future of EU air transport in and after the Corona crisis

EESC opinion: The future of EU air transport in and after the Corona crisis

Key points:

  • Aviation is one of the sectors most badly affected by the Corona crisis with dramatic consequences for the revenues of all stakeholders and their employees in the aviation value chain.
  • The EU Member States are willing to assist all economic sectors in the recovery process. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that global economic activities will regain pre-Corona levels in the near future. For this reason, the EESC calls upon the Commission to develop a comprehensive road map for the recovery of the entire European aviation sector; such an action plan should include dedicated resources to support all sub-sectors and their workforce.
  • The Corona crisis requires a clear distinction between the recovery phase of the aviation sector in the short term, while securing the sector’s international competitiveness and a level playing field in the medium to long term.
  • The retention of quality jobs and appropriate working conditions are key requirements to retain a skilled workforce, without which sustainable competitiveness cannot be secured. The continued recruitment and training of a qualified workforce in the aviation value chain is, therefore, a prerequisite for ensuring the recovery of European aviation.
  • Passengers must receive reassurance of the conditions under which prepaid tickets will be refunded in the event of cancellations during this crisis.
  • The EESC calls on the Commission to seek and maintain a good balance between the recovery measures necessary to overcome the Corona crisis and the desired adjustments to the financial regulations arising from the European Green Deal. The EESC urges the Commission to avoid imposing additional financial and/or regulatory burdens on the sector, particularly in a recovery phase, when the entire sector is financially extremely weakened.