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Business

Budget Airlines To Start Lobbying Group

Several of Europe’s top budget air carriers say they plan to establish a new organization this month to strengthen their lobbying efforts. Industry insiders told prominent media outlets that Ryanair, Volare Web, Sky Europe, Sterling and German carrier HLX would team up to form the European Low Fair Airline Association (ELFAA). Through the organization, the airlines are seeking to strengthen their influence at the European Union level. "Single companies just aren’t listened to," a source said. Despite fierce competition between budget carriers, the airlines say they have identified "common interests" that would warrant creating the new lobby. Ryanair, for example, is under EU scrutiny over steep discounts it receives from the Belgian city of Charlerois, which the carrier uses as a major alternate hub for Brussels-based travelers.