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EasyJet says France ‘blocking cheap air travel’

Published on 17/02/2004

PARIS, Feb 17 (AFP) - The British low-cost airline easyJet attacked France in a newspaper statement on Tuesday for discouraging the development of cheap airline travel in competition with services by Air France.

 EasyJet said it was “incomprehensible” that France did “so little to permit the emergence of real competition” to Air France against a background of looming liquidation for a small private French airline Air Littoral.

The British airline asserted in Les Echos business newspaper that “the French market is still closed to the development of airlines capable of competing with Air France”.

The proof was that “today France is the country in Europe where competition is weakest”. EasyJet said that this was “not without consequences” since “today Air Littoral is the third airline, after Aeris and Air Lib, to go bankrupt in less than 12 months”.

The statement said “it is incomprehensible that a country such as France, which sees itself at the forefront of European integration, does so little to permit the emergence of real competition to the national company.”

This was particularly the case “at a time when Air France continues to establish alliances with KLM and Alitalia”.


                                                              Subject: France news