airBaltic Welcomes EU Strategy for Aviation
Speaking at a public hearing in Brussels, Martin Gauss, CEO of the Latvian airline airBaltic, expressed support for the European Commission’s holistic approach to aviation.
“It is good”, he said, “that the EU Commission recognises the economic value of aviation. airBaltic does indeed provide for reliable connectivity within the Baltic region, and, together with our partners, to/from this region to all continents of the world. We do this profitably, and have just acquired 20 state-of-the-art jet aircraft which provide for more passenger comfort, less CO2 and NOx emissions as well as reduced fuel consumption.”
Mr Gauss underlined that regions such as the Baltic area could not grow economically without airlines that can serve such markets sustainably and profitably; he added that airBaltic welcomed the Commission’s drive for consolidation in the European airline sector, suggesting that such consolidation would lead to the market exit of inefficient and unprofitable airlines at national, regional and EU level.
But Mr Gauss cautioned that regulators at EU and national level need to promote the role of airlines by reducing the level of taxation as well as the level of fees and charges imposed upon airlines in Europe. He furthermore urged the Commission to address the issues of labour action which, in the aviation sector, have the potential of crippling not only airlines, and harming the interests of countless passengers, but also negatively impacting entire economies and therefore the international competitiveness of Europe.
“We bring Riga to Brussels”, he concluded, “and airBaltic wishes to play an active role in the implementation of the new forward looking aviation Strategy.
airBaltic was asked to express its views at the public hearing on 21 April at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.
airBaltic serves over 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From every one of these locations, airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, CIS and the Middle East. In addition, airBaltic also offers new direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.