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Consumers should not be caught in the crossfire of DMA compliance battle

By  Brussels,

Brussels, 27 February 2024: Europe’s leading airlines are calling on the European Commission to ensure that consumers don’t get caught in the cross fire in the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA is one of the biggest pieces of digital regulation the EU has ever passed and is supposed to ensure fair competition and transparency among large digital platforms, known as gatekeepers.

There is currently intense, ongoing discussions about the implementation of so-called remedies by these gatekeepers. However, the current debate largely overlooks the potential impacts on consumers, particularly when it comes to access to comprehensive and complete information when searching for flight options online.

A4E urges the European Commission to ensure that enforcement of the DMA does not result in any one type of service or product gaining an unfair advantage so that consumers can be guaranteed that they have a clear and complete overview of their choices. This must include direct access to airline websites for booking and ensuring that whether offers come from airlines, online travel agents (OTAs) or other intermediaries is clearly displayed. By ensuring equal visibility for all players, the Commission can safeguard consumer interests.

Ourania Georgoutsakou, Managing Director of A4E, commented, “Airlines are not seeking conflict with any other player in the market for travel offers. We are concerned the current discussion misses a beat when it comes to actually ensuring customers benefit. The European Commission must ensure that the remedies proposed to comply with the DMA, particularly by entities like search engines, do not inadvertently favour certain businesses over others and deny consumers a complete choice.”

“A4E calls on the European Commission to closely monitor the implementation of these remedies, ensuring they align with the DMA’s objectives and support a balanced, consumer-focused digital marketplace.”


About A4E

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association. Based in Brussels, A4E works with policymakers to ensure aviation policy continues to connect Europeans with the world in a safe, competitive and sustainable manner. As a key initiator of aviation’s Destination 2050 roadmap, A4E and its members committed to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions for their own operations by 2050. With a modern fleet of over 3,300 aircraft, A4E airlines carried over 610 million passengers in 2022 and served nearly 2,000 destinations. Each year, A4E members transport more than 4 million tonnes of vital goods and equipment to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft.