TUI’s move to join the Airlines for Europe (A4E) industry association at the end of 2019 came after the leisure giant decided to seek a louder lobbying voice on pressing issues such as sustainability and taxation.
The European group’s chief executive for airlines, Kenton Jarvis, tells FlightGlobal that joining A4E gives TUI’s five operators – TUI Airways, TUIfly Belgium, TUIfly Deutschland, TUIfly Netherlands, and TUIFly Nordic – a single lobbying voice on those key topics, and more.
The desire to create that single voice reflects a wider strategy to bring TUI’s carriers closer together.
“I took the role about 18 months ago, and TUI’s been on a bit of a journey with its airlines,” Jarvis says. “We’ve been working progressively… to bring together the airlines in a way that makes synergistic sense.”
Functions such as engineering, in-flight supply and procurement have been combined, and now the group is “starting to think about the issues that we all face together, and the best way to collectively get our voice heard”.
That is where A4E membership comes in.
“When we charged [our team] to look at the most effective lobbying body, A4E looked like the most obvious choice,” Jarvis states. “When you look at the company you are in when you join A4E, I think that speaks for itself.”
A4E was launched in January 2016 with a mandate to promote the interests of European airlines and their passengers. Members include Europe’s five largest airline groups: Air France-KLM, EasyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair.
TUI’s membership also brings a unique perspective to A4E: that of a group whose focus goes beyond airlines and into the wider tourism realm, including hotels and cruise ships…