At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic exposed many weaknesses across our aviation system for which we did not have a quick fix. Liquidity was an immediate concern, one that would threaten the existence of many players in the European aviation value network. Against this background, it is safe to say that the impact on the sector has been catastrophic, not only for aircraft operators, but for every player in this intertwined network: airlines, airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), aircraft manufacturers, ground handlers and those in travel retail.
That being said, I would like to pay tribute to the work of EUROCONTROL, under the strong leadership of Eamonn Brennan, to identify relief measures for ANSPs and Member States, and for the efforts to cut the agency’s costs. This work has played a major part in stabilising the situation, in ensuring we have a safety net in place and ultimately preventing the collapse of the route-charge system. A crisiscan put any partnership under pressure, but in this case I am more convinced than ever of how well EUROCONTROL and the European Commission (EC) are working together to support European aviation in these challenging times and to lay the groundwork for future recovery.