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Parliamentary questions
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11 December 2018
E-006218-18
Question for written answer E-006218-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Air Italy, controlled by Qatar Airways, to start new direct routes from Milan to Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2019

In its answer to Written Question E-002422/2018(1) with regard to observing the rule of ‘effective control’, the Commission stated: ‘the air carrier has to ensure at all moments the fulfilment of the requirements and the Commission might request the Italian authorities’ updated information when relevant’(2).

In 2019, Air Italy, controlled by Qatar Airways, will start new direct routes from Milan to Los Angeles and San Francisco(3). This has raised concerns on fair competition in the USA(4),(5),(6).

The Commission has proposed a new regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport [COM(2017)0289]. The regulation thus proposed notably defines practices affecting competition as consisting either in discrimination or subsidies.

Moreover, the Commission has started negotiations with Qatar regarding future comprehensive aviation agreements.

1. Was the Commission informed in advance of these direct new routes to the US from Milan with Qatar Airways or Air Italy, and did it agree to them?

2. With regard to observing the rule of ‘effective control’, is the Commission still convinced that control is in Italian hands and not in those of Qatar Airways(7)?

3. Is this interpretation of ‘effective control’ consistent with the Commission’s objective of fair competition and its goal of levelling the playing field between EU and third country carriers?(8)

(1)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-002422-ASW_EN.html
(2)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-002422_EN.html
(3)https://www.corriere.it/cronache/18_dicembre_06/gli-11-senatori-usa-contro-air-italy-usata-qatar-violare-accordi-a72febaa-f977-11e8-ae58-9c21af36aa5f.shtml
(4)https://www.corriere.it/cronache/18_dicembre_06/gli-11-senatori-usa-contro-air-italy-usata-qatar-violare-accordi-a72febaa-f977-11e8-ae58-9c21af36aa5f.shtml
(5)https://www.businessinsider.com/air-italy-launches-plans-to-expand-globally-with-qatari-money-2018-6?r=US&IR=T
(6)https://airlinegeeks.com/2018/12/05/air-italy-announces-new-u-s-flights-as-senators-request-official-investigation/
(7)https://www.businessinsider.com/air-italy-launches-plans-to-expand-globally-with-qatari-money-2018-6?r=US&IR=T
(8)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-002422_EN.html

Last updated: 7 January 2019Legal notice