The European Commission has decided not to renew a Block Exemption Regulation that exempts IATA passenger tariff conferences concerning air routes between the EU and non-EU countries from the EC Treaty’s ban on restrictive business practices (Article 81). Tariff conferences allow airlines to agree prices for multi-leg flights on the same ticket that use more than one carrier. The exemption expires on 30 June 2007 for routes between the EU and the US or Australia, and on 31 October 2007 for routes between the EU and other third countries. IATA has not supplied data that would allow the Commission to conclude that an exemption would continue to benefit passengers. IATA is now developing a new interlining system to replace passenger tariff conferences: this will not be covered by a block exemption and, as is the case for other sectors of the economy, it will be for IATA and individual carriers to ensure that their agreements are compatible with the competition rules.

Press release