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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

European Union. France wants to introduce a minimum price for tickets – who can support the initiative?

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France is looking for support for its idea of ​​​​introducing a minimum price for airline tickets in the European Union. According to Reuters sources, the initiative received a positive response from Belgium and the Netherlands. It was recalled that a similar solution was proposed by Austria. The French idea is opposed by the Airlines for Europe association, which brings together EU airlines.

French Transport Minister Clement Beaune announced that France will strive to obtain support from other European Union countries that will allow for introducing a minimum price for airline tickets to limit the impact on climate changes. Reuters pointed out that this move, if it comes into force, will hit low-cost airlines such as Ryanair.

France’s goal is “to open a debate on a fair social and environmental airfare,” Beaune said. – It’s not a matter of multiplying the ticket price by ten. Why? Because there are also people who fly by plane once in their lives, who do not have much money – it is also freedom, a means of transport that cannot be reserved only for the rich – said the Minister of Transport.

Minimum price for airline tickets?

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According to EU officials interviewed by Reuters, they generally support the French idea Belgium and the Netherlands. It was recalled that it had previously proposed the introduction of minimum prices Austria.

– I think this is a discussion that we need to have at the EU level – said Clement Beaune.

Reuters assessed that gaining wider support for this initiative may prove to be a challenge. Attention was drawn to the impasse in talks, e.g. on abolishing the tax exemption on aviation fuel for flights within the EU. It has been noted that some governments are opposed to adopting measures that could raise the cost of living for citizens, especially ahead of next year’s European Parliament elections.

It also pointed out possible opposition, especially from island countries that rely mainly on air transport and whose tourism industry is driven by cheap airline tickets.

The airline industry opposes

Moreover, industry organizations oppose France’s idea.

The Airlines for Europe Association, which brings together EU airlines, emphasized in last week’s letter that the minimum price would violate Community law, which allows carriers to freely set prices. “We do not support initiatives that would violate airline rights established under EU law,” the association wrote in a letter cited by the agency.

Reuters reported that Irish airline Ryanair did not respond to a request for comment.

However, it was recalled that the Irish carrier closed its base at Brussels airport last winter. The airline explained this decision by introducing a tax of EUR 10 per passenger in Belgium for flights shorter than 500 km and a fee of EUR 2 per passenger using an intra-Community route.

Main photo source: OlegRi/Shutterstock

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