Airlines face EC tariff ruling

by Canadian Shipper

European airlines may be facing tariffs on international routes.

The European Commission is investigating the tariff situation and has issued a preliminary ruling saying that current tariffs go against shippers’ interests by heavily favouring the airlines involved, and that cargo tariff consultations infringe competition rules, reports

The international Air Transport Association (IATA) has two months to respond in writing to the ruling, and also has the option of requesting an oral hearing for its members.

Europe’s anti-trust “block exemption” for cargo tariff consultations officially ended in June 1997, but was replaced by a similar system introduced by IATA under individual exemptions.

The EC says there is room for change in the current tariff conference system, which is 55 years old and dates from the time air transport markets were strictly regulated.

According to IATA, the tariff conference system helps cargo interlining, which occurs when cargo is carried for part or the entire journey by an airline other than the airline which issues the ticket.

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