EBN – France is rallying support from EU member states for the implementation of minimum prices on flights within Europe.
The move aims at mitigating the aviation sector’s contribution to climate change, according to Transport Minister Clement Beaune.
Impact on Ultra-Low-Cost Airlines
If approved, this proposal could significantly impact airlines offering ultra-low-cost fares.
However, it faces potential resistance from EU countries, including island nations heavily reliant on air travel and regions with tourism industries heavily reliant on budget-friendly flights.
The primary objective of France initiative is to stimulate discussions on establishing a fair price for flight tickets.
A price that considers both social and environmental considerations, as per Beaune’s written comments. He emphasised that the intention is not to increase ticket prices tenfold.
Instead, the proposal seeks to balance accessibility to air travel for individuals who may only fly once in their lifetime.
Some Support, While Others Express Concerns
Several EU countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, have expressed preliminary support for the concept.
Austria previously floated the idea of minimum flight prices but encountered legal hurdles in advancing it.
Transport Minister Beaune stated, “I think it’s a discussion we have to have at [the] EU level.”
Gaining widespread support is expected to be challenging.
Discussions regarding aviation fuel taxes within the EU have reached an impasse, with certain governments hesitant to introduce measures that might raise costs for voters ahead of next year’s EU elections.
France Proposal Affects Certain Carriers
To address the environmental impact of air travel, the EU has implemented measures such as increasing the cost of CO2 emissions for European flights within the EU carbon market.
The proposal for a minimum ticket price could disrupt the business model of carriers like Ryanair, which offers low fares.
Ryanair has not yet issued a statement in response to the proposal.
In the past, Ryanair closed its two-aircraft base at Brussels’ Zaventem airport, attributing the decision to elevated charges and taxes.
Belgium introduced a €10 tax per passenger for flights under 500 kilometres and a €2 for departing on EU routes.
Some industry organisations have voiced opposition to the proposal.
Airlines for Europe, in a letter to EU countries, argued that imposing minimum prices would infringe on an EU law. Furthermore, it will grant airlines the freedom to set their own ticket prices.