Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
The EC has drawn up its draft proposals for the de-regulation of CRSs in Europe.The document "A proposal for a regulationâ€¦on a Code of Conduct for computerised reservation systems" appears to continue to define "parent carriers" as those which "own or effectively control" a CRS as well as an airline.But the document on one occasion refers to a parent carrier as one which "effectively controls" a CRS, omitting any reference to ownership.Many in the industry have been concerned that the EC's Directorate General for Transport and Energy (DG Tren), which has drawn up the proposal, was planning to change the definition of parent carrier.The rumoured change would have altered the definition from an airline which owns and controls a CRS - as in the present Code of Conduct - to one which controlled a CRS.The concern centred on the fact that Air France, Lufthansa and Iberia together hold a 46.4% stake in Amadeus, one of the leading CRSs in Europe. The EC draft defines a parent carrier as "any air carrier or rail-transport operator which directly or indirectly, alone or jointly with others, owns or effectively controls a system vendor as well as any air carrier or rail-transport operators which it owns or effectively controls."It said that there were four options on how CRSs in Europe could be de-regulated. It favours option two which is "partial de-regulation with specific safeguards for parent carriers."This is the option which is favoured by much of the industry. The EC document said this option "offers the most favourable outcome in terms of increased competition, safeguards against competitive abuse, neutral, transparent and comprehensive information for consumers and the promotion of inter-modal transport."It adds that the proposal "keeps in place a number of safeguards against potential competitive abuses, especially in the case of vertical integration between CRSs and transport services providers."Among the safeguards are "specific rules for parent carriers" aimed at preventing them gaining any advantage because of their holding.These include rules:* against discriminating against competing CRSs by refusing to provide them with the same inventory as is made available to their own CRS; * stopping them directly or indirectly linking the use of any specific CRS with commissions or incentives* stopping them directly or indirectly requiring the user of any specific CRS by a subscriber to obtain a ticket
The full proposal will now go before the EC Cabinets and then the Commissioners over the next two months.
* see BTE's recruitment site www.businesstraveljobs.com