EU airline passenger rights regulations are not fully protecting consumers and need reform, the head of leading industry representative group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.
Addressing an industry conference in Qatar on the need for "smarter regulation", IATA director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac slammed the EU-261 flight compensation regulation as costly and ineffective.
"It is a confusing, poorly-worded regulation that is adding cost to the European industry. Plus, it is not doing its best at protecting consumers," he said.
Mr de Juniac, a former chief executive of Air France-KLM, added: "Even the European Commission sees the shortcomings of this regulation and has proposed important reforms.
"But these have been held hostage for years as a result of the implications of the Gibraltar dispute between the UK and Spain."
Mr de Juniac also took aim at some countries adopting their own passenger compensation rules despite agreeing to different IATA guidelines.
"Even though governments signed up to these principles, many persist in going it on their own. And, too often, they do so in a knee-jerk respsonse to an incident."
He also said Brexit must not hinder the industry.
"Irrespective of the political relationship between the UK and Europe we see growing demand...for connectivity between the two. Brexit cannot be allowed to undermine that demand."