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European Parliament. Question on Sicily's costly flights

By Annalisa Tardino

"Parliamentary questions

3 June 2021

Priority question for written answer P-002969/2021 to the Commission Rule 138

Annalisa Tardino (ID) 

Subject: Sicily’s costly flights

The structural problem of expensive flights to and from Sicily has become even more evident in recent months, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, as documented by recent events. We believe that urgent action should be taken to allow for greater margins in the criteria for allocating public service obligation (PSO) requirements in the case of the Italian islands.

The Commission will be reviewing the air services regulation, as the current incentive mechanisms have not managed to resolve the issue, since they are mainly targeted at new routes the duration of which is limited in time.

Can the Commission therefore answer the following questions:

1 Does it not agree that there is an urgent need to revise the rules on air services in order to address the objective difficulties being experienced? Within what time frame does it intend to do so?

2 Does it not think that island status should mean that greater flexibility is allowed with regard to state aid and PSOs, and will it extend the award criteria for concession contracts?

3 How does it intend to address the problem of high flight prices in the islands and ensure that incentive measures for routes, within the framework of State aid rules, make a real contribution to the regular and widespread provision of affordable connectivity for residents?

Last updated: 4 June 2021".

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