Air Transport World

EC fumes over mergers. (European Community)

London-The accelerating trend among airlines in Europe to form up into two big power blocs is worrying officials of the European Commission in Brussels, whose brief is to see to it that there will be more, riot less, civil-aviation competition after trade frontiers go down between the 12 EC members from Jan. 1, 1993.

The way things are moving at the moment, the Eurocrats believe that what happened in the U.S. following deregulation, with big airlines gobbling up the small ones, is happening in Europe two years ahead of the local version of liberalization. Whether liberalization will lead to lower fares in light of consolidation is questionable.

At this writing, the big-airline battalions from up as follows:

* British Airways, which has an extensive marketing agreement with United Airlines-and which tried unsuccessfully to buy into that carrier last year-shares ownership of Sabena World Airlines, currently being established in Brussels, with KLM and Sabena. …

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