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A4E urges for 'reasonable' airport fees and end to aviation taxes

Airlines for Europe (A4E) has called for action on airport charges and aviation taxes.

Speaking at the A4E Summit in Brussels today, the association's managing director Thomas Reynaert said: "We need a clear [European] Commission commitment to review the Airport Charges Directive and this must happen in 2017. The directive hasn't achieved its objectives of greater transparency, user consultation, and nondiscrimination."

Air France-KLM chief Jean-Marc Janaillac adds: "A4E seeks to achieve reasonable airport charges." Among other measures, "airports should consult with airlines before setting charges", says Janaillac.

IAG chief Willie Walsh also exhorted the European Commission to "boost Europe's competitiveness by supporting our call for the abolition of aviation taxes".

Walsh names the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Austria as countries imposing the most significant aviation taxes in Europe.

He highlights the UK's air passenger duty as an example. Abolishing this tax, he says, could boost the UK economy by "about 1.7%".

Walsh goes on the cite the Netherlands and Ireland as examples of countries that have realised economic benefits from the cutting of aviation taxes.

A4E says European airlines lose competitive advantage versus other regions because of the high airport charges and aviation tax burdens they face.

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