Air France and Wizz CEOs spar over airline regulation

Air France and Wizz CEOs spar over airline regulation

Traditional airlines need more time to recover before full competition for airport slots is restored, the head of Air France-KLM said on Monday, drawing a sharp response from Wizz Air counterpart Jozsef Varadi, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.

The suspension of the "use-it-or-lose-it" rule has allowed major carriers to preserve airport access during the coronavirus crisis despite the collapse in traffic, sparking protests from low-cost rivals keen to expand into once-congested airports. read more

Airlines were required to use 80% of pre-crisis take-off and landing slots or forfeit them to rivals. Major carriers are now pushing to extend a lower threshold and other accommodations through the coming northern winter season.

"It was logical to give airlines a break on the use-it-or-lose-it rule," Ben Smith said in a joint panel appearance with Varadi at the Paris Air Forum, adding that the time is not right for its return.

"We don't see our industry in a position yet to put that in place."

The Air France-KLM chief executive also cautioned against allowing budget rivals to "take advantage" of the crisis by expanding into crisis-hit national markets using crew on lower-cost foreign contracts.

But Varadi, founding CEO of Hungary-based Wizz, said the suspension of slot rules discriminated in favour of state-backed carriers and undermined the European single market. France recently raised its stake in Air France-KLM to 28.6%.

"This is the level of nationalism playing into the game nowadays," Varadi said. "It's not only governments getting involved on the equity side of the industry but (also) protecting that investment through various administrative measures, like slots."

Varadi warned of similar political reflexes in areas such as environmental tax and he clashed again with Smith on European moves to require a minimum percentage of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which has lower carbon emissions but higher costs.

The Air France-KLM boss echoed warnings from established airlines that said the application of the so-called SAF mandate to long-haul routes would end up benefiting non-European rivals.

"We don't want to be put in a position where it alters the level playing field between ourselves and other long-haul carriers," Smith said.

But Varadi said moves to make intercontinental travel exempt ignore the bigger picture and also pose a serious threat to fair competition.

"Are we responsible for the environment or not?" the Wizz CEO said, urging a "seamless and non-discriminatory" approach to green fuel.

"It shouldn't be another way of further distorting the market by putting legacy carriers in a better situation."

Iranian, Chinese ambassadors to Pakistan consult on region, Afghanistan
Iranian, Chinese ambassadors to Pakistan consult on region, Afghanistan
Iran receives IRCS’ 9th COVID19 vaccine consignment
Iran receives IRCS’ 9th COVID19 vaccine consignment
Iran to receive 2nd shipment of covid vaccine from Japan next week
Iran to receive 2nd shipment of covid vaccine from Japan next week
Loading Bars
Reps of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan discuss situation on border
Iranian, Chinese ambassadors to Pakistan consult on region, Afghanistan
Azerbaijani defense minister expresses condolences to Turkish officials
Chairman of Turkish Grand National Assembly to visit Azerbaijan
Afghan forces kill 81 militants in northern Balkh province
Numerous business and IT leaders involved in digital transformation projects
Garment factory of Turkmenistan's Balkan region exceeds production plan
Typhoon In-Fa lands in east China, second landfall expected
Georgia reports 2,061 coronavirus cases
Lightning strikes kill 6 in India's Madhya Pradesh
Australian swimmers win 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold with new WR in 4x100 freestyle relay
Iran receives IRCS’ 9th COVID19 vaccine consignment
Russia increases import of chemicals from Turkey
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's financial market
Brazil registers 1,108 more COVID-19 deaths, 38,091 new cases
China's road cargo transport expands in H1
Kazakhstan reveals COVID-19 data
FAO supporting several projects on local food promotion in Azerbaijan (Exclusive)
Azerbaijani gymnast Marina Nekrasova performed in qualification at the Tokyo Olympics
Slovak lawmakers vote against granting extra benefits to anti-COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Apartment sales in tourist capital of Georgia increases
Marina Nekrasova performs as part of competition at Tokyo Olympics
Azerbaijani gymnast performs in floor exercise at the Tokyo Olympics
Marina Nekrasova presented an exercise on the balance beam as part of the competition at the Tokyo Olympics
Historical direct elections of rural akims kick off across Kazakhstan
Mexican president calls for "new coexistence" of American states
Azerbaijani gymnast performed on uneven bars at the Tokyo Olympics
Azerbaijani gymnast Marina Nekrasova joins the fight at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Italy's Padua celebrates inclusion on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites
Jordan to lower age limit for COVID-19 vaccination
CBOT agricultural futures fluctuate, close mixed
U.S. will not investigate nursing home deaths in New York, two other states
Advocates call for further reckoning among U.S. churches following unmarked grave findings in Canada
Indian capital allows further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions
Georgia increases imports of cars from Turkey
Turkmenistan, Japan sign bilateral documents in number of areas
Uzbek enterprise considers using experience of German Siemens Energy AG in chemical industry
Georgia unveils progress on Pfizer jabs by 18:00
Turkey reports 12,381 new COVID-19 cases
Uzbekistan, Tatarstan consider current status of implementation of joint projects
Iran to receive 2nd shipment of covid vaccine from Japan next week
Kazakhstan, Russia talk importance of coordinated efforts
There is no "status" issue as there is no "Nagorno-Karabakh" - Azerbaijani MFA
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for July 24
Azerbaijan confirms 412 more COVID-19 cases, 125 recoveries
Turkey passes 65 mln-dose mark in COVID vaccinations
Turkmenistan establishes amount of customs duties on export of paper waste
Special Representative of Kazakhstan’s President visits London
Infrastructure projects may be stopped in Georgia - Association of Infrastructure Builders
Hankook Tire to suspend Geumsan plant for 2 days due to coronavirus
Azerbaijan shows footage of Sofulu village of the Jabrayil district (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani gymnast completes performance at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Azerbaijani gymnast performs in vault and parallel bars exercises at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Azerbaijani gymnast demonstrates rings exercise as part of qualifying competitions at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Azerbaijani athlete performs pommel horse exercise as part of competitions at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Azerbaijani gymnast demonstrates 2 more exercises at 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Russia reports over 23,900 COVID-19 cases in the past day
Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan talk further expansion of strategic partnership
Iran connecting more population to its nationwide gas network
Azerbaijani gymnast Ivan Tikhonov to perform at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
Fire extinguished in mined area in Azerbaijan's liberated Khojavand (VIDEO)
Iran battles water shortage in Khuzestan Province as protests increase
Kazakhstan-Pakistan trade down amid COVID-19
Lithuania provides Georgia with AstraZeneca vaccine
Plant for ceramic decorative plates production being built in Turkmenistan's Baherden
Iranian president announces several new water, sewage and electricity projects
Central Bank of Azerbaijan to put short-term notes up for auction
Azerbaijan changes rules for air passenger transportation
Lending to legal entities in real estate sector grows in Azerbaijan
Baku starts issuing state license plates of new series to car owners
Turkmen PETRONAS Charigali opens tender for provision of offshore support vessels
For 30 years, OSCE Minsk Group failed to produce results regarding Karabakh conflict - analyst
S&P affirms Azerbaijan's credit ratings with 'stable' outlook
Georgia starts registration for first dose of Pfizer vaccine
Azerbaijan names places for monuments to famous Azerbaijani pop singer and composer
About 1 mln retirees vaccinated against COVID-19 in Moscow — mayor
Halliburton increases activity across multiple product service lines in CIS
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Halliburton sees 10% increase in completion & production revenue
Ukrainian SkyUp lo launch flights to Uzbekistan’s Navoi
Iran reveals data on transport of basic goods from its ports
Lending to transport, communications sector drops in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan increases trade with Iran
Iran to face severe shortages of livestock in coming months?
French MPs concerned about what they saw on Azerbaijan's liberated lands (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan Railways subsidiary breaks record for cargo handling via BTK
Turkish Railways looks to implement several transport projects - ministry
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Situation in Kalbajar sector of Armenian-Azerbaijani border stable - MoD
Georgia eyes completing construction of all international highways by 2030
Uzbekistan, NATO to work on MoU related to prevention of emergencies
Turkey records increase in car exports to Iran
By end of 2021, Azerbaijan to build all power facilities both in Karabakh and in Eastern Zangazur - president
Azerbaijan - country affected by war the most, but money being provided to Armenia - President Aliyev
Kazakhstan's Passenger Transportation JSC opens tender for buildings repair
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for July 24
Azerbaijan increases imports of grain, legumes from Turkey
Geostat reveals data on China's exports to Georgia
Azerbaijan sees everything - both Khankandi and the corridor, says president
What is logic behind creating status for 25,000 people? - President Aliyev
All news