Dáil Éireann - Volume 683 - 26 May, 2009
Written Answers. - Air Services.
Deputy Pat Rabbitte Deputy Pat Rabbitte
Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport his views on legislation to protect airline passengers from the range of extra charges and levies that are continually being imposed upon them and particularly in view of the need to maintain passenger volumes in the airline sector; if he has had contact with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Commission on Aviation Regulation and the National Consumer Agency to review the increasing burden of additional charges on airline passengers including the new €30 levy on passengers carrying a separate duty free bag and the charge for accessing a boarding card at the airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21265/09]
Deputy Noel Dempsey Deputy Noel Dempsey
 Deputy Noel Dempsey:It is not open to Ireland to introduce national legislation as the operation of air services, including the setting of fares, is the subject of common EU rules which are set down in Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 which is directly applicable in the State. European carriers providing commercial air services can freely set their fares. This has been the case since 1992 when the market was first liberalised.
In the EC Regulation, which revised the common rules for the operation of the market last year, new provisions were introduced requiring greater pricing transparency. When publishing or advertising air fares, airlines must now include all applicable conditions and all applicable taxes and charges which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. These pricing transparency provisions were introduced because the fare structure in the industry in recent years has changed significantly with many airlines now having differentiated pricing structures consisting of a basic fare with a number of optional pricing elements. The new rules require greater transparency in pricing information but airlines still have full pricing freedom. This ensures that consumers have fuller information available to them in making their travel choices.
Dáil Éireann 683 Written Answers. Air Services.