The Ministry of Developmentwill force airlines to ask at the end of ticket sales starting in January, and not at the beginning as before, if customers are entitled to the 75% discount for residence in the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. The department that runsJosé Luis Ábaloswill give a period of two months for the adaptation, whose cost "should necessarily be reflected in the prices of the tickets", as he warned yesterdayAirline Association (ALA).
Ábalos said yesterday in the Senate that the decision is made after consulting with the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), reports Efe. The minister responds to complaints that have made public several user groups and the Government of the Balearic Islands, who argue that the prices of tickets between the Peninsula and the two archipelagos have risen allegedly artificial since last July the discount was extended from 50% to 75%.
Several of these allegations ensure that the airlines to which they attribute these practices take advantage of asking the traveler if they are residents at the beginning of the sales process, from there, offering a higher price, which would divert the effort to their benefit. that the State makes in subsidizing the tickets. If the question is asked at the end of the process,that temptation ceases to exist.
The ALA, made up of more than 70 regular national and international companies operating in Spain, was surprised yesterday by the decision, since to date "only one fraudulent case has been put on the table". This was stated by its president, Javier Gándara, for whom, based on this lack of evidence, the measure that FOMENTO aims to establish is "disproportionate" and will "reduce transparency".
In his opinion, there are no proven cases because the entire process of ticket sales and pricing "is highly audited by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)." Had there been fraud, it would have detected it, as it could have done "any consumer association".
Moreover, Gándara himself warned that hiding the final price contravenes the European Commission (EC) regulation oncommon rules for the operation of air services(1008/2008). In the first section of article 23, which deals with "information and non-discrimination", the community rule reads as follows: "(…) The final price to be paid shall be indicated at all times, which shall include the applicable rate or freight, as well as as all applicable taxes and fees, surcharges and rights that are mandatory and foreseeable at the time of publication. "
The first time that Fomento communicated its intention to the airlines was in September. Since then, the team of José Luis Ábalos has been maturing the idea until last Monday a communication communicated to the airlines informing them of the start-up during the month of January and the two more months with which they will have to adapt all the computer processes.
The president of ALA recognized that, "as happens with any change," this will also generate a cost to the companies that will end up "reverberating in the tickets." It will not be, in his opinion, the fundamental thing, since it will be very diluted among all the places sold. For Gándara it will be worsethe noise that will be generated to feed general ignorance. "What will happen when the last step is taken and prove that it is not 75% less?" He asked.
With this example, the representative of the airlines warned that the discount does not operate on the rates. That is, if the cost of a ticket is 100 euros and 20 of them correspond to the prices charged for the use and service received at the airport, the subsidy is applied to 80 euros.
"We have had enough of asking for concrete examples", Javier Gándara reiterated about the absence of evidence of fraud. "Of course, someone can tell me that in winter it is much cheaper than in summer to fly from the Peninsula to the Balearic Islands, but in those months of vacation the demand is much higher," he said.
In addition, the president of ALA said that against what happens at this time, in which the price that is obtained from the first moment for the flight can not vary during the purchase process, not knowing until the end whether or not it should be acquired keeps the place within the reach of the rest, which can be lost or even change in price, because it will continue to be affected by the laws of supply and demand.
"At the moment, it has only been a communication, but the moment the question is formalized,we will study all the measuresthat we have at our disposal, "he warned.The contraposition to European regulations will be one of the paths that ALA will explore.