BRUSSELS - After a devastating year for European civil aviation, hope for a speedy recovery is growing along with the rising vaccination rates. The restart of the industry is close, but its scale and pace will depend on the actions taken by European governments to facilitate it.
Based on the crucial lessons learned during the pandemic, European social partners in Civil Aviation* propose a 4-stage action plan that will ensure a strong recovery of the industry.
Facilitate free movement through a Digital Green Certificate
The Digital Green Certificate proposal is a welcome move by the European Commission that can ensure that travel reopens safely, benefiting the European economy, connectivity and employment in the transport and tourism sectors.
Social partners call on the European co-legislators to swiftly adopt the regulation and exempt transport workers from it, so they are free to undertake their tasks without unnecessary administrative burdens.
Prioritise aircrew in the vaccination roll-out
European aviation can only increase capacity, restore consumer confidence and re-establish critical connectivity if essential aviation workers are available.
Social partners call on Member States to prioritise the inoculation of essential aviation workers as part of their COVID-19 vaccination roll-out plans.
Implement a coordinated European approach for aviation personnel
Requirements and restrictions in force for the general population should be tailored for the highly mobile transport workers, taking into account their specific circumstances. There is no need, for example, for aircrew who remain airside during their work to quarantine or undergo testing on return to their base.
Social partners call on Member States to coordinate and ensure that all requirements are aligned so that transport workers face no difficulties and uncertainty.
Extend payroll support programmes
Aviation workers are highly skilled professionals, and payroll support is essential in keeping them in the industry, ensuring its strong recovery.
Social partners urge Member States to continue their support schemes for aviation to support the aviation sector and its employees until at least 2024.
*Airlines for Dialogue (A4E), Airline Coordination Platform (ACP), Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), European Regions Airline Association (ERA), European Cockpit Association (ECA), European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).