British Airways is to launch an immediate appeal against today`s European Commission ruling against some of the airline`s UK sales arrangements.
The airline believes that its business practices satisfy all the various competition rules that apply in the European Community and around the world.
The airline said that in its judgement today`s pronouncement by the EC is wrong in fact and in law. It will appeal against the ruling and strongly believes it will be overturned.
Dale Moss, British Airways` Director of Sales, said: “Our commission arrangements for travel agents are similar to those run by most major airlines in Europe and across the world.
“The company`s policy is to give travel agents the chance to earn more commission by selling more tickets. This is normal business practice. It also means that the agent can sell more cheaply to the consumer if it wishes.
“The airline industry is fiercely competitive. Passengers have more choice than ever before. If we are to be restricted, then we look forward to the European Commission establishing a level playing field by ensuring that the rules are applied equitably to all airlines. At the moment European airlines will be worse off than others.”
The European Commission has taken no decision concerning the discounts that British Airways offers to its corporate clients. Mr Moss added: “We will continue to offer our clients the best service at the best price. This year we will significantly improve every single premium product and we will be the undisputed product and service leader in the industry.
“Our procedures have been completely disclosed and above board over the six years the Commission has taken to consider this complaint. The Commission declined to stop them on an interim basis and has come to this view in the last weeks of its existence. We are confident it will be overturned in due course.”