What Does Europe Do about Fair Competition in International Air Transport? A Critique of Recent Actions

Common Market Law Review 57: 831–860, 2020

30 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021

Date Written: September 1, 2020

Abstract

The States’ perception of what constitutes fair competition in international air transport has evolved from a quid pro quo approach in the era of airline regulation to a laissez-faire approach in the era of airline de-regulation. However, no consensus has ever been reached as to, first, what constitutes fair competition in an industry whose market access is still contingent on bilateral air services agreements (ASAs), and, second, what the pre-requisites of a level playing field are. The commercial success of the Gulf airlines has obliged regulators and policymakers around the world to revisit this issue and demand compliance with global rules. The EU has responded by adopting Regulation (EU) 2019/712 on safeguarding fair competition, as well as by championing the inclusion of fair competition clauses in ASAs. The analysis examines the compatibility of unilateral action under the Regulation with mutually negotiated solutions under ASAs so as to assess the legitimacy and efficiency of the EU strategy in the area of fair competition in international air transport.

Keywords: Air services agreements, freedoms of the air, open skies, liberalization, subsidies, fair competition clauses

JEL Classification: K21, K29, K33, R4, L4, L93, L9

Suggested Citation

Lykotrafiti, Antigoni, What Does Europe Do about Fair Competition in International Air Transport? A Critique of Recent Actions (September 1, 2020). Common Market Law Review 57: 831–860, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3799681

Antigoni Lykotrafiti (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.qmul.ac.uk/law/people/academic-staff/items/lykotrafiti.html

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