The International Federation of Musicians (FIM) has launched an online petition with the aim of persuading EU legislators to take action on the issue of musical instruments on planes. The Paris-based organisation, which represents 72 musicians’ unions worldwide, is calling for Europe to follow the example of the US, which earlier this year brought in a uniform musical instrument policy for airlines. The petition wants EU commissioner Siim Kallas to take musicians’ concerns into consideration when updating regulation no.261/2004 on air passenger rights, which is currently under review.
The FIM president John Smith, who is also general secretary of the UK Musicians’ Union, said: ‘It is only by working at a European and international level that we can successfully tackle this issue. Just a few months ago we saw the US Congress introduce a uniform national policy regarding musical instruments on airplanes – we need to see similar action in Europe. The problem is that existing law allows each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instruments – which we have seen recently with BA. We need uniformity and fairness across the whole sector.’