That was the message of SAS Group chief operating officer and executive vice-president Lars Sandahl Sorensen, speaking at Accelerate Aviation.
He said that individual countries with their own airspace caused many of the air traffic control problems in Europe. He urged European leaders to come up with a continent-wide plan to solve the problem.
Sorensen said: “Air space control is a fundamental area [for change]. We are living in the past as we are looking at separate countries [to solve the problem] and we’re not seeing it as an overall issue. We need to work together on European skies.
“Imagine how many tons of fuel are being wasted because of the old-fashioned ways of operation.”
EasyJet chief operating officer Chris Browne added a failure to work together affected airlines at all levels of operations.
She added: “It can’t be done in isolation – we’re only as successful as the weakest link.
“When you have collaboration with everyone who touches an aircraft, you see much greater success... and there is a recognition we have to pull together to make sure we’re delivering better services.”
Both the speakers, who were taking part in a panel discussion on how best to grow a global carrier, added the other key issue facing the industry was overcapacity.
Browne explained: “There are too many aircraft in the skies and that puts pressure on pricing. We are seeing the consequences of that over time.”
She said with fuel prices going up, weaker airlines were beginning to struggle, as has been seen recently with a number of airline failures and acquisitions.
Sorensen added: “It is pretty amazing that we have made it very difficult for ourselves in terms of pricing.
“There is an oversupply and there will continue to be an oversupply for some time.”