The Association of European Airlines (AEA) urges European policy makers to develop a regulatory framework in which the air cargo industry can flourish and can further contribute to the European economy. The basis of the global level playing field was discussed yesterday during a round-table meeting with the participation of the Chief Cargo Officers of AEA member airlines and representatives of the European Commission and European Parliament. At this meeting, AEA’s Cargo Brochure was launched, which highlights the Association’s priorities for air cargo for the coming years.
Air cargo is a key enabler for economic development and often a leading indicator of market trends. While 48% of global air trade touches Europe, AEA member airlines carry 25% of worldwide air cargo. However, due to the volatile markets, the EU financial crisis and increased international competition, air cargo activity is facing serious challenges.
Air cargo industry as well as air transport, by nature, is over-regulated. The current inefficiencies stem from inappropriate airport infrastructure, noise restrictions, cargo security regulations and the need for an up-to-date electronic air waybill system. A high level international harmonisation is required so as to avoid duplication of measures and decrease the burden for the industry.
“European airlines’ cargo activity plays a vital role in the global competitiveness of the European economy and contributes substantially to EU’s trade relations“, says Mr Athar Husain Khan, acting secretary general of AEA. “AEA calls on the European regulators to recognise the importance of the air cargo industry and reflect it in their transport strategies for the years to come.”