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Saturday,  May 25, 2024 1:18 PM 

IATA members agree to European 'rescue fares'

  • Air
  •   11-26-2014  11:04 am

IATA members agree to European 'rescue fares'

Members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) flying to, from and within Europe have made a voluntary agreement to cover the repatriation of passengers unable to return home due to an airline ceasing operations as a result of financial failure.

Under the agreement, in the event of an airline bankruptcy, IATA member airlines flying to and from the EU will make their best efforts to offer repatriation to passengers stranded away from home. These passengers will be provided access to discounted transport to return home, subject to available capacity, said a release from IATA.

The ‘rescue fares’ of a nominal amount will be available for purchase up to a maximum of two weeks after the event to anyone flying to and from or within Europe who does not already possess insurance covering this eventuality.  States responsible for the licensing of the insolvent airline should also play their role in communicating to stranded passengers the possibility of this rescue service, IATA said.

According to IATA, the European Commission has estimated that between 2011 and 2020, only 0.07 per cent of all passengers could be affected by airline bankruptcy, and of them, only 12 per cent would require assistance in getting home.  While a permanent statutory fund to aid passengers in such situations has been a topic of considerable discussion, IATA said the airline industry has opposed such a fund, as financially prudent carriers would be subsidizing riskier airlines. Estimates of the bureaucracy needed to run the fund suggest that up to 85 per cent of the money would be eaten up in administration, said IATA.