On 7 March 2022, the Commission launched a public consultation to gather the views of stakeholders on the revision of the Air Services Regulation, which aims to strengthen the legal framework for the internal market in air services to take into account the experience gained during the coronavirus the epidemic and its impact on the industry, as well as the political objectives defined in the European Green Deal and the strategy for sustainable and intelligent mobility.
Regulation 10008/2008 governs the Union’s internal market for air services, establishing rules concerning, among other things, i) who can access the market and under what conditions, ii) where and when European carriers can operate freely in Union (and the exceptional situations in which this freedom may be restricted), and (iii) their freedom to set air fares or fares and the manner in which prices are to be displayed to consumers. Although the Regulation has brought considerable benefits in creating the Union’s internal market for air services, thereby bringing benefits to both consumers and airlines, several issues have come to light over time and should be processed in order to ensure a better functioning of the market.
More specifically, they relate to (i) the financial health and resilience of air carriers, (ii) the insufficient resilience of the regulatory framework for air services and (iii) the fact that the legal framework is not sufficiently aligned with the current policy objectives defined in the sustainable and smart mobility strategy in terms of promoting sustainable and socially responsible connectivity. The initiative therefore aims to address these issues in order to shape a more resilient and sustainable European air services industry, while maintaining the highest levels of aviation safety and continuing to ensure connectivity and competition in the sector.
Stakeholders will have until 26 May 2022 to submit their views by completing the online questionnaire, which will then be used to support the impact assessment the Commission is carrying out.