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Airlines want protection from compensation

Airlines are held to higher standards than those applied in other industries, ERA president says.

More needs to be done to protect airlines from having to pay compensation when they are not at fault for delays and cancellations, industry representatives said at Routes Europe 2018 in Bilbao.

Airlines are regularly held to higher standards than those applied in other industries, European Regions Airlines Association director Montserrat Barriga said during a panel session, TTG reports.

More should be done to take the pressure off airlines from being held accountable for circumstances beyond their control, she said.

“If it is out of the control of the airline, why should they be penalised? It doesn’t happen in any other business,” she added.

IATA regional vice president Rafael Schvartzman agreed, saying that only 5% of delays are the fault of the airline: “Airlines don’t want to be late. They want to make sure they arrive on time.”

Was it right that airlines paid around €241 million after the Icelandic volcano delays in 2010, even though the situation could not be blamed on them? Schvartzman asked.

However, Mark Clarkson of air intelligence company OAG argued that airlines must share some of the blame for the situation, having not always made it easy for consumers to claim compensation in the past.

Demand to double
But more needs to be done in the European market to ensure it is ready to serve double the number of passengers by 2036, to 7.8 billion, the panelists agreed.

Barriga said the industry must work together to achieve this, while Schvartzman urged that governments must play a larger role.

Clarkson added: “Airports have to plan and build. We’re seeing breaking point for big hub airports in Europe.”

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