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Perhaps a better way of tackling competition – instead of trying to stifle it – is to boost one’s own competitiveness, as this new airline group appears to be doing. The CEOs of Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, IAG, easyJet and Ryanair met in Brussels today to present a unified voice on EU aviation in response to the transport commissioner’s request for engagement with the industry. One noted that “other regions put aviation at the centre of their economic strategies. Fierce global competition, paired with a relative loss of capacity at EU hub airports, risks leaving the EU on the edge of the aviation world market. We won’t stand a chance of delivering an effective strategy if we don’t work together.” Sensible words. And some sensible replies – although the heavy focus on cost cutting outside airline control, for example at airports, slightly undermines their position. And it seems unlikely that governments will “remove passenger taxes” – so why not just put even more emphasis on the Single Europe Sky and ATC reform?

And the airport sector has now issued its own response to the airlines.

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