Top European airlines form unusual lobby to push EU to limit impact of strikes, cut taxes

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The new Airbus A350 performs its demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Tuesday June 16, 2015. Some 300,000 aviation professionals and spectators are expected at this week’s Paris Air Show, coming from around the world to make business deals and see dramatic displays of aeronautic prowess and the latest air and space technology. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

BRUSSELS — Leading European airlines are lobbying for new rules in Europe to lessen the impact of strikes and reduce taxes, pushing for what they call more American-style aviation rules.

The CEOs of Air France KLM, Lufthansa, Easyjet, Ryanair and International Airlines Group held an unusual meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and expressed frustration at the slowness of efforts to simplify European air traffic control systems.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary said they want to use technology to allow air space over a country to stay open when air traffic controllers go on strike. He argued for "first-step measures" for workers to air concerns before resorting to a strike.

Air traffic control workers fear threats to passenger safety and to their jobs and say the EU is yielding to industry pressure to cut costs.

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