Coronavirus: Airlines allowed to defer €1.1 billion in European air traffic control fees

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EUROCONTROL, the Brussels-based organisation that co-ordinates payment for air traffic control services by airlines, has approved a deal to defer €1.1 billion of fees.

EUROCONTROL (The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) is jointly owned by 41 European countries, plus Israel and Morocco, who share the revenue it collects.

According to reports, Eurocontrol was demanding payment of €518 million by 13th April for February invoices.  This bill has now been deferred until November 2020.

The upcoming bills for March, April and May 2020 will similarly be deferred until various dates in 2021.  These will be substantially lower, of course, due to the fall off in activity last month.

The Director General of EUROCONTROL said:

“I am really delighted that our Member States have approved this essential measure. It will provide much needed liquidity support. Many airlines contacted EUROCONTROL to confirm that they would not be in a position to facilitate their next payments. With traffic down 90%, our Member States have clearly recognised the shared challenge. This payment deferral will ease the immediate burden on airlines and it provides certainty on financial planning to both airlines and the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) on when payments will be made after the crisis has abated.

“It is important to acknowledge the overwhelming support provided by our Member States for this measure, along with their air navigation service providers, as it provides vital assistance to the airline industry in their hour of need.”

You can find out more on the EUROCONTROL website here.

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  1. Peter K says:

    I’m surprised it took this long to take the decision. It’s a case of, get some money now but have airlines go bust, or defer a payment and get more business long term if more airlines keep flying more planes.

  2. Anyone know the prices charged by eurocontrol? Say for example for Rob’s favourite LHR-HAM route? (Just to help put this in context.)

  3. Miche says:

    Who is going to pay ANSPs all around Europe? How they will survive?

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