Air Transport World

European liberalization inevitable, Dutch say. (in the air line industry)

European liberalization inevitable, Dutch say The Hague--Airline industry liberalization is slowly spreading in Europe, and one of the major driving forces behind the trend is Neelie Smit-Kroes, the Dutch Minister of Transport and Public Works. She negotiated with her opposite number in Britain, Nicholas Ridley, the new air agreement between the two countries which can now be seen as an important signpost on the long road towards loosening the tight regulations which bind European civil aviation.

Under the agreement, any airline designated by either government can fly on any route between Britain and the Netherlands, with the operators able to decide for themselves the frequency and capacity of their services. Rules on tariffs have been slackened, with the result that there are some very cheap bargains available between London and Amsterdam. Traffic rose 5% in the first year of operation. Smit-Kroes would like to see the principle of the Anglo-Dutch accord extend to other countries and she is sure that this will happen in the longer term. …

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