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EU targets cheap flights

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18/07/2006

Airlines advertising cheap flights but later adding extra costs to the fares could be forced to change their ways under new proposals from the European Union.

To attract customers many airlines charge initially low fees and then add other fees on top of the ticket price – such as in taxes or fuel surcharges. However the European Commission has now said that this is misleading, as it prevents customers comparing the costs of different airlines.

To tackle this problem, the Commission wants to ban such practices and force airlines to fully disclose the cost of a ticket – including any taxes or surcharges.

“The liberalisation of air transport is a European success story: citizens enjoy more travel opportunities and lower fares than ever before. We want to consolidate this success by removing all restrictions to the free provision of air services and ensuring fair competition between airlines”, said Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport.

“Citizens must enjoy the benefits of the Single Market and have the possibility for more choice and quality. They must be able to easily compare fares between airlines”, he added.

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