Ensure conditions for fair competition: a level playing field

European airlines pariticipate in a global marketplace alongside competitors from around the world, some with distinct business models, some with very different regulatrory regimes. Their ability to maintain the quality of services by which they are defined could be threatened by competitive distortions. Equally, within Europe, there is competition between airline business models and between airlines and other modes of transport; competition which is by no means fair and free of distortion.

AEA calls upon European governments to effectively dissuade non-EU governments from pursuing discriminatory policies which distort competition amongst international airlines.

  • By avoiding burdensome - administrative or financial - regulation that puts European airlines at a competitive disadvantage with their international counterparts;
  • By working with third countries to harmonise rules and operating standards in the areas of security, environmental regulations, border controls, state aid rules, taxes and charging regimes;
  • By securing a level playing field between the airline business models. No frills airlines serving local markets are driving distortive infrastructural requirements and raising the issue of public funding and state subsidies of regional airlports;
  • By ensureing fair competition with other modes of transport. State aid rules should be evenly applied;
  • By providing public sector funding or security provisions that protect the wider public, not only air passengers;
  • By eliminating barriers to competition through eg. implementing the Single European Sky;
  • By ensuring that European airlines’ interests are represented when negotiating new air traffic agreeements with third countries;
  • By eliminating "restrictive foreign ownership and control" laws, while at the same time ensuring that reciprocity in market access and regulatory convergence is safeguarded;
  • By seeking implementation and convergence of competition policy with that of other nations when further liberalising market access.

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