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European Commissioner for Transport calls for EU/US to work together to boost competitiveness

22-Apr-2013 10:25 AM

European Commission VP and Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas addressed (18-Apr-2013) the International Aviation Club on the future of transatlantic aviation and the EU-US partnership. Mr Kallas said the trans-Atlantic partnership between the EU and the US "still dominates global aviation" but has declined from a 54% of global traffic in 2008 to 44% by 2011. Mr Kallas said it "makes a lot of sense for us to work closely together because in aviation, as in other areas, we are ideologically close", adding that the bilateral aviation agreements "are clear evidence of our desire to forge stronger ties". In aviation the "most global of activities", European and US "industries and societies are so similar and interlinked that it does not make sense to impose different sets of rules." Mr Kallas commented that with Asia and the GCC as centre of growth "major European and American airlines are under pressure, particularly the legacy carriers" and Europe and the US should "should strive for even more regulatory convergence and better cooperation in international arenas such as ICAO" if they want to stay competitive. Mr Kallas said the  same ambition that underpins the future EU-US free trade agreement should be carried through to transport relations, especially to aviation. [more - original PR]