ROUTES: AEA warns austerity moves will damage EU aviation

Abu Dhabi
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European governments must not harm future aviation development by cutting back on infrastructure investment or overburdening the industry with regulation, says the Association of European Airlines' acting secretary general.

Husain Khan says the sector needs clarity in order to make planning decisions. "To make investments, infrastructure needs to be planned and built, airlines need to be able to cater for that, they need to plan feed and factor cost," he says.

He says his association is "driving a message of fertile soil" and explains that governments "need to understand that aviation is not to be taken for granted, that aviation is an industry that needs to be competitive at a global level".

Khan warns that in Europe, many governments are implementing austerity-related measures that are punitive to the industry, whether though indirect taxation, charges, levies as well as imposing regulatory burdens.

With European traffic "just above a flatline at best", he warns: "Any government that waves left and right without giving a clear idea and clear target to the aviation community as to where it thinks it should be in the years to come will have a detrimental effect on the sustainability and planning stability of the sector."