During the IATA Ops Conference in Copenhagen, Flight Chic asked SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson whether the airline would consider joining the newly founded A4E airline association which has recently added Norwegian and Finnair among its members, and in which SAS partner Lufthansa is already an active member.
“I think it’s important that we as an industry speak with one voice to Brussels. Therefore I welcome that initiative that all carriers, regardless of whether you are a legacy carrier or a low-cost carrier come together and try to join forces to have the biggest impact possible in to the regulators. I welcome that,” Gustafson said.
A4E is a unique association in that its members include both flagship airlines including Air France-KLM, easyJet, IAG, and Ryanair.
“We are still a member of AEA [Association of European Airlines] and we’re still debating within SAS how we would transition into this new entity. But I think it’s important that we try to find a common and joint way to do that as an industry because the whole idea that I think we all agree upon is that we need to have a strong voice in Europe in order to have a chance to influence the industry in a way that we would like it to go,” Gustafson concluded.
A4E’s current agenda includes addressing matters of more efficient airspace, including pushing for progress on SES (Single European Skies), calls for the European Parliamemt and European Commission to impose more stringent policies resticting ATC strikes, the removal of “unreasonable taxes” and a push for lowering costs at EU airports.