Consumer advocates are calling for insolvency protection for airline tickets

ATM (Photo: Jan Gruber).
ATM (Photo: Jan Gruber).

Consumer advocates are calling for insolvency protection for airline tickets

ATM (Photo: Jan Gruber).
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In a current survey by the European Consumer Center (EVZ), 56 percent of respondents are in favor of legal insolvency protection for air travelers. This protection is intended to ensure that passengers receive a refund of the ticket price in the event of an airline bankruptcy. However, 31 percent of those surveyed reject such a regulation. Given the numerous airline bankruptcies in recent years, this issue is becoming increasingly important and is calling on politicians to take action.

In the past ten years, at least 15 airlines in the EU have had to file for bankruptcy. The victims were often the passengers who not only lost the flight tickets they had already paid for, but also lost an average of 430 euros per person. Holidaymakers who suddenly find themselves without a return flight during their stay abroad and have to bear high additional costs for new flights and accommodation are particularly affected.

Karolina Wojtal, co-head of EVZ Germany, draws parallels to the package holidays that have been insured since the early 1990s: “Providers there are protected against insolvency. As a result, prices have hardly increased, but security for consumers has increased significantly." This protection for package holidays shows that insolvency protection for air travelers is not only feasible, but also necessary to strengthen consumer rights and increase trust in the aviation industry.

The EVZ's demand to include insolvency protection for air travelers in the "mobility package" announced by the EU Commission is supported by many consumer advocates and experts. The mobility package aims to reform travel legislation and provides an opportunity to implement much-needed protections for air travelers. The decision on whether to include insolvency protection now rests with the new European Parliament, which will discuss and approve the package.

The opinion research institute Civey, which carried out the representative survey on behalf of the EVZ, surveyed 2.500 German citizens aged 18 and over. The results make it clear that the topic of insolvency protection for air travelers is of great interest to the general public and that many people want legal regulation. Opinions are likely to be similar in other EU countries, as the problem of airline bankruptcies and the associated financial losses affects many European citizens.

The EU Commission and the European Parliament are now faced with the challenge of finding a solution that takes into account the interests of both consumers and airlines. A possible introduction of insolvency protection could initially be met with resistance from the aviation industry due to fears that additional costs could arise. However, the example of package holidays shows that such insurance does not necessarily have to lead to higher prices.

Airlines could even benefit from bankruptcy protection by increasing customer trust and making more people willing to book air travel. Better protection could also lead to greater market regulation and prevent financially unstable airlines from continuing to operate, thereby destabilizing the industry as a whole.

Consumer advocates and experts emphasize that insolvency protection for air travelers must be implemented as quickly as possible in order to protect the rights of passengers and enable them to travel worry-free. The coming months will show whether the European Parliament recognizes the urgency of this issue and anchors corresponding measures in the mobility package.

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Editor of this article:

Amely Mizzi is Executive Assistant at Aviation Direct Malta in San Pawl il-Baħar. She previously worked in the Aircraft and Vessel Financing division at a banking group. She is considered a linguistic talent and speaks seven languages ​​fluently. She prefers to spend her free time in Austria on the ski slopes and in summer on Mediterranean beaches, practically on her doorstep in Gozo.
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About the editor

Amely Mizzi is Executive Assistant at Aviation Direct Malta in San Pawl il-Baħar. She previously worked in the Aircraft and Vessel Financing division at a banking group. She is considered a linguistic talent and speaks seven languages ​​fluently. She prefers to spend her free time in Austria on the ski slopes and in summer on Mediterranean beaches, practically on her doorstep in Gozo.
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