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EU policymakers should proceed cautiously with European Commission proposal on Package Travel Directive and ensure a balanced final outcome

By  Brussels, — Last updated on 11 December 2023

Airlines for Europe (A4E) is urging EU policymakers to ensure that the final outcome of the revision of the Package Travel Directive (PTD) delivers a balanced piece of legislation that does not upend the tourism sector in Europe. The European Commission’s proposal on the PTD, published on 29 November, introduces far reaching changes that will have implications for all providers in Europe.

Package holidays have a high value, are the safest of all forms of travel and offer the best consumer protection. The main focus should be on ensuring that European package holiday providers remain competitive. Any over-regulation of package holidays will not improve consumer protection, but will instead result in higher costs for consumers. This may encourage them to choose cheaper forms of travel that do not offer anywhere near the same protections as package travel.

For the first time ever, down payments made by travelers to package holiday providers will be regulated at the EU level and limited to 25% of the total package price unless there is a justification for a higher amount. This new rule, together with other provisions will make it more difficult and onerous to manage the business of package travel providers and risks negatively impacting the entire tourism value chain, including airlines.

It is concerning that the Commission is using an exceptional event in the sector driven by the global Covid crisis as the basis for such a big change in how package travel works in normal business times.

Commenting on the proposal, Ourania Georgoutsakou, Managing Director of A4E, said,

“The proposed revision of the Package Travel Directive will change financial flows in the tourism sector during normal business times and risks negatively impacting the entire tourism value chain in Europe. It is disappointing that the pandemic, as a highly exceptional and unique situation, is being used as a benchmark for regulation. This is despite the package travel sector demonstrating its crisis resilience on many occasions. ”

“We look forward to working with EU policymakers to ensure that the final outcome is as balanced as possible, helping to ensure a vibrant and globally competitive EU package travel sector for the millions of Europeans who rely on it for their holiday needs.”




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 achieving 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.