Rapport fra Booz & Co til Kommisjonen: Om forbrukervern ved konkurs av flyselskaper
Høring igangsatt av Samferdselsdepartementet 14.8.2009
BAKGRUNN (fra Booz & Cos rapport til Kommisjonen, engelsk utgave)
The European Commission has engaged the Project Team to provide a high level analysis of the causes and situations surrounding aviation bankruptcies in the EU since 2000 and to determine their impact on holders of pre-paid transportation by:
• describing how passengers who had commenced travel and were stranded were or were not repatriated and/or reimbursed;
• considering forms of relief provided to passengers who had pre-paid tickets but who had not yet commenced travel on airlines that later suspended operations because of insolvency;
• assessing the feasibility of both existing and possible alternative consumer protection mechanisms to provide consumers with necessary information and reasonable security or relief;
• evaluating concerns expressed by stakeholders interested in the regulation of consumer protection in order to provide the Commission with both information and perspectives to assess what further legislation if any may be needed or should be avoided.
A central question is whether consumers enjoy sufficient and reasonable protection under the rules and enforcement procedures of the current regulatory framework and/or through forms of insurance required or offered in the marketplace - especially with respect to individual travel (that is, when not covered under existing legal requirements for insuring package travellers). Finally, the application of actual or contemplated legislative requirements on foreign carriers selling air transport to travellers originating in the EU will be assessed from the standpoint of its impact on competitiveness and whether considerations of maintaining a level playing field have been adequately addressed.
Context for our analysis is provided both by:
1. the impact of strong competition under difficult conditions on Community airlines (which has led to a high rate of airline bankruptcies in the EU as well as worldwide); and
2. the rule-making reviews and analyses that have been taking place under Commission auspices incident to a systematic restructuring of the market access regulations as now comprehended under EC Regulation 1008/2008.
Our findings in the Final Report cover the following areas: • Air Transport Industry Outlook. We examine the current situation in the air transport market in the context of general economic conditions which, in 2008, have continued to put strong pressure on airlines.
• Existing Rules and Practices for Consumer Protection. We examine the existing legislative rules, regulatory procedures and commercial law practices (e.g. contractual arrangements) that provide direct or indirect protection to consumers against the risks to them ensuing from airline bankruptcy.
• Changes in the Travel Market. The risks for consumers result not only from airline behaviour but also from their own behaviour. The travel market is experiencing significant restructuring of demand influenced by modern distribution methods (internet sales, for example) that has led to the phenomenon of so-called “selfpackaging”, while the use of travel agents has decreased.
• Case Studies. Selected bankruptcy cases are examined in depth.
• Policy and Regulatory Options. Taking the most recent events as well as stakeholder views into account, we review the possible consumer protection mechanisms.