The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the entire transport sector hard. EPF was invited to a Round Table organised jointly by DG MOVE and DG COMP, to discuss with all relevant stakeholders the way forward towards a sustainable recovery strategy for the sector.

EPF has stressed the following points:

  1. Firstly, in the short term, protection in case of airline insolvency is very important – not only to protect passengers’ basic rights, but also to restore their confidence as consumers.
  2. Secondly, but related to the first point, EPF calls upon the European Commission to monitor and enforce compliance with the Air passenger rights Regulation, notably the right to cash reimbursement.
  3. Thirdly, there is the issue of state aid to airlines. The decisions taken today must be considered in a broader, long-term perspective and assessed against the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environment.

In EPF’s view, state aid to airlines must meet a number of conditions:

  • it should be temporary and take the form of a loan that must be repaid
  • it should be guided by the principles of market efficiency and connectivity, i.e. it should only be used to support air services that are needed to ensure connectivity & cannot be fulfilled by another, more environmentally friendly, mode of transport
  • it should come with strict social obligations towards both staff and passengers.

EPF’s Aviation Recovery note can be consulted here.