Brussels, 30th November 2007
Better safety and more price transparency: the EU strengthens the air transport sector for more competition and better quality.
The Commission welcomes the agreement, reached after less than one year between the Council and the European Parliament on the proposal to modernise the Single Market legislation for air transport. The new legislation foresees in particular to impose price transparency, to better control the airlines for more safety and quality for the passengers.
"The liberalisation of air transport is a European success story: citizens enjoy more travel opportunities and lower fares than ever before. Today, we consolidate this success by ensuring fair competition between airlines and strengthening safety control”, said Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport. “From now on, passengers will enjoy the benefits of the Single Market and will receive complete information on the exact ticket prices, without any discrimination”, he added.
The liberalisation of air transport within the EU, initiated a decade ago, has been a great success. Air transport in Europe has experienced an unprecedented expansion at affordable fares. The number of airlines has risen, and there has been a general increase in the amount of traffic and competition on routes. Since the full liberalisation in 1997, the number of routes has increased by more than 60%: more cities are covered, including in remote regions. The emergence of new competitors made prices go down dramatically on many routes: today it is generally cheaper to travel by air, and more and more European citizens can afford it. These developments contributed widely to economic growth and the creation of jobs directly and indirectly.
This huge success must be consolidated. The new regulation improves substantially the current legislation.
 Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 11 May 2005, relating to the unfair commercial practices of the companies with respect to the consumers in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC and Directives 97/7/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) n° 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council ("directive on the unfair commercial practices").