Low-fares welcome white paper review

23rd Jun 2006

The European Low Fares Airline Association has welcomed the
publication by the European Commission of the communication on the
mid-term review of the Transport White Paper.This assessment of the
implementation of the White Paper is a useful opportunity to highlight
the ongoing overregulation of the air transport sector in the European

ELFAA has been actively involved in the mid-term review as it believes
that several of the founding principles of the White Paper have proven
to be incorrect and indeed damaging to the air transport sector and
should therefore be removed. These failed principles include: (a) the
call for decoupling the growth of transport from economic growth; and
(b) the call for a modal shift to the benefit of rail. Both of these
policies are unrealistic and unworkable and it is very worrying that
they still form the basis for policy in the field of transport.

Speaking today John Hanlon, Secretary General of ELFAA, said:

“The liberalisation of European air transport in the 1990s has generated
numerous benefits to European consumers and the European economy in
terms of lower fares, increased tourism, job creation, etc. The White
Paper, however, which set the principles for the EU transport policy for
the first decade of the XXI century, effectively allowed for the
advantageous treatment of rail, to the detriment of air transport. It is
time to admit the huge social and economic benefits generated by air
transport and to level the playing field for all competing transport
modes, including trains, ferries and air transport.

It is also necessary to admit the failure of the call for decoupling the
growth of transport from the economic growth. This peculiar concept,
which effectively calls for a slow-down in the growth of transport,
undermines the Commission’s own Growth and Jobs Strategy. Transport, and
especially air transport, is the main driver of economic growth and the
European economy will become less competitive if the growth of European
air transport is inhibited.


ELFAA repeats its call for less regulation in the air transport sector
and for a proper cost/benefit analysis and a regulatory impact
assessment of all legislative proposals that will impact air transport.
Regulation should also provide for equal treatment of all competing
transport modes in order to avoid distortions of competition. This will
be to the benefit of European consumers and the economy in general.”


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