Part V Air Transport, 16 Competition (I): Market Definition and Antitrust Rules
Edited By: Luis Ortiz Blanco, Ben Van Houtte
- Abuse of dominant position — Market power — European Union — Licensing — Airline alliances and mergers — Airport infrastructure
After transport by car, travel by air is the option that European consumers and companies use most to move around. Air transport covers almost 10 per cent of the kilometres travelled by EU citizens. More than 800 million passengers use EU airports annually. Having airlines compete with the best service and the best price is essential for the European economy. The European Union has made a considerable effort to liberalize the air transport markets in Europe. As a result, fares were reduced, new business models (low-cost carriers) emerged, and air travel became more affordable. In the long term, European airlines became more resilient in the global market place. This chapter describes the complex operations of the airline industry and the delicate definition of relevant markets. It sets out in detail the elaborate practice in respect of restrictive agreements and abuses of dominant position.