Regulation 1008/2008 (the “Air Services Regulation”) is the basic legal act organising the EU internal market for air services. It was adopted in 2008 as the legal successor of the three “aviation packages”, which have progressively established the EU internal aviation market. It also codifies the rules of three Regulations from 1992 (on licensing of carriers, on access to the EU market and on air fares and rates). The Regulation’s provisions therefore touch on a range of issues, including but not limited to: 1) Operating licences, including on EU carriers’ principal place of business and temporary licence; 2) Ownership and control of EU air carriers; 3) Leasing; 4) Freedom to provide intra-EU air services; 5) Public service obligations; 6) Traffic distribution rules; and 7) Price transparency.
As announced in its 2015 Aviation Strategy, the European Commission carried out an evaluation of the Regulation and published in July 2019 a Commission report. The objective of this evaluation was to provide insight into the actual performance of the Air Services Regulation and its overall intended and unintended impacts. While the Regulation does not include any specific social provisions, the indirect impacts associated with its application and the liberalisation of the air services market on employment and working conditions of aircrews formed part of the analysis. The impacts on the environment and the ongoing initiatives to address concerns about CO2 emissions and noise were also analysed.
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