Etihad Airways has urged the European Commission to embrace “bold, exciting and world-leading reforms” as part of the Strategic Aviation Package to overhaul Europe’s air transport industry.
In a detailed submission to the commission, the airline advocates a policy which actively facilitates competition and consumer choice, addresses critical shortfalls in aviation infrastructure and eases restrictions on market access and investments by non-European airlines.
Etihad Airways argued: “The Strategic Aviation Package proposed by the European Commission represents a significant ‘window of opportunity’ to strengthen the European air transport sector as an economic and social enabler, and a key driver of growth, through bold, exciting and world-leading initiatives which improve the efficiency of the industry and increase global flight connectivity.”
Oxford Economics conducted a major economic impact study which shows that Etihad Airways’ core operations and capital spending in 2015 alone will support over 51,200 European jobs and contribute €3.3 billion to the EU’s GDP.
Etihad Airways has invested in five European airlines – Alitalia (49 per cent), airberlin (29 per cent), Air Serbia (49 per cent), Aer Lingus (4.99 per cent) and the Swiss regional operator Darwin Airline, which trades under the Etihad Regional brand (33 per cent).