Air traffic control issues cost EU economy $20 billion in 2018: airline body

The number of EU airline passengers affected by industrial actions hit up 26 percent on the previous year to 334 million in 2018. (AFP)
Updated 06 March 2019
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Air traffic control issues cost EU economy $20 billion in 2018: airline body

  • ATC industrial action, a lack of controllers or other structural issues were responsible for over 75 percent of delays
  • ‘Progress on aviation has stalled and we are going backwards’

BRUSSELS: Air traffic control (ATC) strikes and staff shortages cost the EU economy $19.88 billion (€17.6 billion) in 2018 in the worst year of delays for air passengers in nearly a decade, industry association Airlines for Europe (A4E) said on Wednesday
ATC industrial action, a lack of controllers or other structural issues were responsible for over 75 percent of delays, with the number of EU airline passengers hit up 26 percent on the previous year to 334 million, the industry body said, citing Eurocontrol data.
“Progress on aviation has stalled and we are going backwards,” Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO and A4E Chairman, said in a statement which outlined steps to tackle the issue.
“The EU must tackle inefficient ATC monopolies through internationalization of airspace, introduction of competition between ATC providers, and quicker delivery and flexible deployment of air traffic controllers.”
Chief executives of A4E members including British Airways owner IAG, easyJet, Lufthansa as well as Ryanair met on Wednesday for their annual meeting in Brussels, where they also called for revised regulations on passenger rights and airport charges.
The industry group also pledged to renew efforts on sustainability. A4E said operational issues such as ATC strikes had led to 1 million tons of avoidable CO2 emissions since 2014.
The summit was held a day after a study funded by investors said airlines are doing too little in the fight against global warming, adding more fuel-efficient planes and steps to ensure flights are at full capacity would help limit emissions.


Iraq has enough oil capacity to meet customer needs: oil minister

Updated 25 April 2019
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Iraq has enough oil capacity to meet customer needs: oil minister

  • Thamer Ghadhban also says there are no acute oil shortages for the time being
  • but Iraq would continue to monitor the market to assess the need for additional supply

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s oil minister said on Thursday his country had the capacity to increase its oil production to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) if needed, but it was committed to OPEC-led output cuts and would not take unilateral action to boost supply.
Thamer Ghadhban also said there were no acute oil shortages for the time being, but Iraq would continue to monitor the market to assess the need for additional barrels at the next OPEC meeting.
On Monday, the United States decided not to renew exemptions from sanctions against Iran granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, taking a tougher line than expected and triggering a rally in oil prices on fears of oil supply shortages.