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European Parliament. Question on unequal treatment of ITA compared to Lufthansa and Air France-KLM

By six MEPs

"Parliamentary questions

8 April 2021 

Question for written answer E-001898/2021to the Commission Rule 138

Anna Bonfrisco (ID), Marco Campomenosi (ID), Massimo Casanova (ID), Paolo Borchia (ID), Luisa Regimenti (ID), Lucia Vuolo (ID) 

Subject: unequal treatment of ITA compared to Lufthansa and Air France-KLM

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on European air transport, prompting several countries to grant aid to national airlines, including recapitalisation measures. Italy has decided to set up a new airline – ITA – with an initial public investment based on sustainability.

In this respect, the EU Commissioner for Competition has called for the divestiture of about half of the Italian airline's slots at Linate airport, which ITA would acquire from Alitalia in accordance with Article 8a(b)(iii) of Regulation (EEC) No 95/93, on the grounds that this would prevent market distortions.

In spite of the fact that other companies, such as Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, have applied for state aid, the conditions for them are different: Air France would give up 6.5% of its slots at Orly, Lufthansa 3% in Munich and 1.5% in Frankfurt and KLM would give up 3% in Amsterdam.

In view of this, can the Commission answer the following questions:

1 Can it clarify the technical and regulatory parameters on which its assessment is based, as regards the slots, and does it not think that these should be supplemented with further data?

2 Does it consider it appropriate for assessments to be carried out on budgets and competitiveness prior to the pandemic?

3 Is it aware that the demands made would deal a severe blow to the new airline, which is already having to implement its new industrial strategy in a difficult market situation in the wake of the pandemic?

Last updated: 26 April 2021".

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency