16-Mar-2011 10:34 AM

EU launches infringement procedures against Greece over agreements with Russia

European Commission confirmed (15-Mar-2011) it has launched infringement procedures against Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta and Slovenia regarding their bilateral air service agreements with Russia. The EC has sent each of these EU Member States a "letter of formal notice" expressing concern their agreements "may hinder equal treatment of EU airlines and competition between European airlines and provide the basis for Siberian overflight charges that may be illegal under EU antitrust rules". Seventeen other Member States have been issued letters of notice. The EC stated that forcing EU airlines to pay to operate over Siberia en route to Asian destinations "can not only make the flights more expensive, but can also lead to unfair competition between EU and non-EU airlines". [more]