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New European Airlines Association to be announced

11 Jan 2016 by BusinessTraveller
Five of Europe’s largest airline groups will launch a new association aimed at being “the leading voice for the interests of European airline” next week. The new association is being spearheaded by Air France KLM, Easyjet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair. The group says that carriers are “currently represented by up to six associations in Brussels”, including the Association of European Airlines (AEA) and The European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA). IAG carriers British Airways and Iberia were members of AEA up until April 2015, when they left to join the ELFAA, along with Air Berlin and Alitalia (see news April 2015). BA and Iberia are understood to have left AEA over the association's views on the threat from Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, and at the time IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh said: "We look forward to working with ELFAA and its member airlines on a full range of policy and regulatory issues including the pursuit of further aviation liberalisation." Last week AEA reported its highest rate of growth since 2011, with nearly 307 million passengers travelling on scheduled services with its member carriers in 2015. Business Traveller will bring you more details on the new association when it is unveiled on January 20. Mark Caswell
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