Josianne Cutajar demands European Commission act on air travel disruptions

Labour MEP Josianne Cutajar says ticket price increases, long delays, lost luggage and last-minute flight cancellations were jeopardising Europe's competitiveness

Cutajar highlighted how the disruptions were occurring during a period of a sharp increase in travel demand and worker shortages
Cutajar highlighted how the disruptions were occurring during a period of a sharp increase in travel demand and worker shortages

Labour MEP Josianne Cutajar called on the European Commission to take action on air travel disruptions that have frustrated millions of passengers across the EU.

Cutajar said the significant increase in ticket prices, long delays, lost luggage and last-minute flight cancellations were worrying developments in the air travel sector. She highlighted how this was happening during a period of a sharp increase in demand as the air industry contends with worker shortages.

“This scenario poses several risks in relation to consumer protection, workers’ rights and the discouragement of tourists, which might also jeopardise the competitiveness of Europe as a tourist destination” Cutajar said.

Recently, a technical malfunction at London Heathrow Airport left hundreds of passengers without luggage and on Friday, Air Malta said six Amsterdam flights were moved to Rotterdam as airlines were forced by Dutch authorities to limit passenger capacity throughout July.

Cutajar asked how the commission was engaging with stakeholders in the field, including airlines and operators, in order to address such scenarios, and prepare for any future shocks.

She also pushed the commission to investigate the matter, assessing both the fairness of practices and whether lack of staff can result in a lower level of safety for workers and passengers alike.

Cutajar demanded that the commission also plan ahead when it comes to the protection of passengers from remote areas, including islands, which are at a geographical disadvantage when it comes to travel options.

“These areas are also facing high ticket prices, and given that islanders depend upon air travel, this hampers their right to free movement even more,” she said.

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