EU regulations designed to protect the consumer could end up doing more harm than good.
Speaking in an onstage interview at WTM London, easyJet chief executive John Lundgren said airlines are often left paying out large sums to consumers for delayed or cancelled flights following circumstances not of their making.
He argued such costs may have been instrumental in driving come airlines into bankruptcy and warned if the process continues, it will mean fewer airlines operating in Europe, which will inevitably lead to more expensive flights.
Lundgren added while he respects the rights of European air traffic controllers to strike, he urged the EU to come up with a continent-wide solution to solve the problem which can cost easyJet more than mere money.
He said: "The majority of the disruption that we have is caused by actions outside our control; because we are refunding the customer 100% when it happens the customer thinks it is our fault and this is something I’m quite upset about."
Lundgren added a European-wide open skies agreement would be one way of solving the problem.
Talking about easyJet, Lundgren said he has no plans to enter the long haul arena while there are still opportunities to grow in the short haul market.
He added despite being Europe’s second largest airline, it still has only a 10% share of the European market.
"From our perspective, we simply don’t want to go into the long haul market ourselves," he said.
"We see so many airline operators in the existing market that we still have a long way to go. If we had 30 or 35% market share perhaps it would be slightly different."
Lundgren also denied there were any plans to turn easyJet into a tour operator, despite his background working for Tui and the airline’s accommodation offering being available on its website.
He added: "We have millions and millions of people who sit on our aircraft but don’t book accommodation with us.
"We have Europe’s most visited travel website with 250 million individual visitors coming.
"It represents a great opportunity for them to work with someone who doesn’t look like an OTA as we don’t have millions of hotels on it."
Lundgren also said while airlines must do more with the data available to better understand the customer, he said many still are not using it to best effect.
He added: "The problem is you can end up with an average and you end up focusing around an average but I’ve never met an average person in my life."