E4FC calls on the European Commission to safeguard fair competition in the EU-Qatar Air Transport Agreement
18 October 2021 – On the occasion of the signature of the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (hereafter: “agreement”) between the EU and the State of Qatar, the Europeans for Fair Competition (E4FC) once again calls on the crucial importance of the enforcement and application of the provisions set out in the agreement.
E4FC believes that the signature of the agreement provides a unique opportunity to follow-up on the cornerstones of this agreement, which – from now onwards – will be provisionally applied. In practice, the EU market will now be immediately and unilaterally opened to Qatar Airways, an airline that already claimed to be the largest in the world and – thanks to uncontrolled state support – chose to fly more routes than any other airline during the COVID-19 crisis, regardless of passenger demand. During the times when airlines globally were hit by the pandemic, financial transparency is more than ever important. The European Commission, therefore, must investigate and address any unfair practices that may impact fair competition in the EU market.
The agreement allows for regular consultation between the parties in the form of a Joint Committee, which is responsible for the proper implementation of the agreement. E4FC urges the European Commission to call for an immediate meeting of the Joint Committee that could start addressing competition matters as well as cooperation on environmental, social, safety and security issues.