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EC Workshop on Package Travel Directive

On 26 November, the European Commission organised a workshop in Brussels on the application of Directive 2015/2302/EU on package travel and linked travel arrangements in the airline sector.

Directive 2015/2302/EU on package travel and linked travel arrangements has been applicable in the EU since 1 July 2018. This Directive extends the concept of ‘package’ and introduces the concept of ‘linked travel arrangements’ in order to cover new business models available on the market, and in particular offers from airlines to book other travel services (e.g. accommodation, car rental) in addition to a flight. In June 2019, the Commission issued a first report on the provisions of the Directive applying to online bookings made at different points of sale. Due to the lack of involvement of representatives of airlines, the findings of the report remain inconclusive in regards to the airline sector. The report therefore stresses the need to further assess business practices of airlines in relation to ‘click-through’ bookings.

At this workshop, in which ERA participated together with Aurigny, experiences with the application of the new Package Travel Directive were discussed, in particular the airlines’ role as organiser of packages and/or facilitator of linked travel arrangements and their ensuing obligations relating to information to travellers, contract performance and insolvency protection. IATA and Lufthansa gave a verbal overview of specific difficulties of airlines when implementing the Directive, while TUI made a presentation describing their business models with information on travel services besides flights that are offered for sale. The workshop was concluded with the information from the Commission that there will be an evaluation of the Directive carried out next year (with a final report to be published in January 2021), including a targeted stakeholder consultation (scheduled around the summer) involving the airline community.