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European airlines may have to reduce passenger capacity further

European airlines may have to reduce passenger capacity further

Passenger capacity on airlines in Europe may have to be reduced in order to save costs, the secretary general of the Association of European Airlines (AEA) has said.

Speaking to the Polish media on a visit to Lot Polish Airlines, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus explained that the AEA’s plans will allow the airline industry to emerge from the global financial crisis.

"Our industry is market-driven, so fewer passengers and less cargo mean that we must dramatically reduce the aircraft capacity offered," he said.

Mr Schulte-Strathaus also said that, despite facing challenging consequences, airlines "are not looking for state handouts".

Dariusz Nowak, Lot’s president, echoed Mr Schulte-Strathaus’ assertion that EU regulatory action, in the form of the Single European Sky initiative and the Airport Charges Directive, is not helping the industry to escape from the current economic turmoil.

Figures from the AEA published last month showed that fewer passengers booked flights within Europe during 2008.

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