The 115 European network, regional and leisure airlines—represented by the Assn. of European Airlines (AEA), the European Regions Airline Assn. (ERA), and the International Air Carrier Assn. (IACA)—have joined forces to insist that European flight time regulations are safe.

The three aviation bodies issued a joint statement in response to a pilot and cabin crew demonstration that created “a misleading picture of European aviation safety regulation.”

The European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) rulemaking group will meet this week to discuss proposals for harmonizing existing rules for Flight Time Limitations (FTL) and rest requirements across the European Union. Cabin crew and pilot unions object to the changes, claiming they are relax the standards.

ERA director general Mike Ambrose argued the proposed new rules “simply harmonize the different FTL requirements that currently exist across Europe. They even include some new, more restrictive requirements and limitations.” He added: “Airlines and regulators will never allow this fundamental safety cornerstone of our industry to be compromised.”

AEA secretary general Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus said, “European FTL rules have been and continue to be safe.”

The three associations called on the unions to channel their comments to the EASA rulemaking group, where they and all other stakeholders, will have an opportunity to express their views.