Hosted by MEP Matthijs van Miltenburg, Europeans for Fair Competition (E4FC) organised a lively debate on 21 November on the European Commission’s proposal to safeguard competition in air transport.
E4FC has been stressing the crucial importance of an EU-based airline industry, which serves Europe’s strategic interest, creates jobs, provides connectivity for its citizens, protects consumers’ interest, reinforces investments and the competitiveness of the European economy.
Flights to and from the EU, performed by an EU-based airline will result in at least four times more local employment than the same flight performed by a non-EU airline. It is vital that the EU pursues a policy, which strengthens the accessibility of Europe’s secondary and tertiary destinations through European hubs to safeguard connectivity and consumer choice on a longer term, always in a fair competitive environment.
“The European Parliament has been stressing the importance of fair competition and the need for an effective and adequate legal instrument to address any discriminative measures that could result in market distortion. In a few weeks, the Transport and Tourism Committee will discuss the report on the proposed regulation and I am convinced that the vote in the Committee will confirm our commitment to safeguard competition in air transport.” said MEP Matthijs van Miltenburg, host of the event.
Mr. Filip Cornelis, Director Air Transport of DG MOVE highlighted that “European air connectivity relies both on EU airlines and on airlines from third countries. The new legislative tool will ensure a competitive market in the EU where all actors have equal opportunities. The regulation is promoting the competitiveness of EU airlines and maintains the conditions to a high level of connectivity”.
“Only European carriers provide the dense network of both intra-EU and extra-EU connections. An adequate framework allowing for fair competition should be instrumental to sustain a viable European aviation sector. Therefore the proposal of the European Commission is to be supported in particular in a context where Aviation is not covered by WTO rules” said Mr. Jean-Marc Janaillac, CEO of Air France-KLM.
In his remarks, Mr. Rober Spürk, Board Member of the Vereinigung Cockpit added that “We are convinced that the European Comission’s proposal lays down a good foundation to address unfair practices from third country airlines, therefore the swift adoption of the regulation should be a priority for EU policymakers.”