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ECTAA organises its 85th bi-annual meeting in Bucharest

ECTAA<.>, the European association regrouping the national Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Associations from 15 EU Member States and 8 other European countries, is organising its 85th bi-annual meeting on 23-24 Mai 2002 in the beautiful capital of Romania…

ECTAA<.>, the European association regrouping the national Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Associations from 15 EU Member States and 8 other European countries, is organising its 85th bi-annual meeting on 23-24 Mai 2002 in the beautiful capital of Romania, Bucharest.



The two-day meeting will review a number of important issues of the trade, mostly dealing with air transport, legal and consumer affairs as well as taxation. Over the last years, ECTAA has concentrated its efforts on negotiating a new IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement (PSAA), which is the contract that governs the relations between airlines and travel agents. This negotiation has proven to be very difficult and in light of the current economic recession airlines are reluctant to make any concessions to the travel agents. The bi-annual meeting in Bucharest will give Members the opportunity to review the draft PSAA and to look into various options. Other air matters are of equal importance at the meeting in Bucharest, notably the Regulation proposal on compensation in case of denied boarding, cancellations and long delays. The proposal is based on the current Regulation on denied boarding 295/91/EEC but extends the scope of application to passengers of tour operators.



ECTAA considers that package travel customers are already fully protected under the package travel Directive 90/314/EEC and the existence of two EU legislative acts to protect package travel customers will certainly lead to legal disputes due to inconsistencies between the legislation and will confuse the consumer. On the subject of consumer protection, ECTAA will also review the developments of the Passenger Protection Plan (PPP) elaborated in collaboration with IATA, UFTAA and the help of an insurance and reinsurance consultant. The PPP, which will protect all air passengers from an airline's or travel agent's default against a modest sum of approximately USD 0.5 included in the fare, has been approved in many countries, however, in more than half of the EU Member States the plan will not be implemented because the airlines, mostly the national flag carrier, have voted against its implementation in their respective countries.



On the taxation front, ECTAA is closely following the developments of the Directive proposal amending Directive 77/388/EEC as regards the special scheme for travel agents. The Commission proposal has been quite favorable to the trade but it seems that the Member States are working on an amended proposal, which will not be to the benefit of the trade.



The Members of ECTAA will also have the opportunity to elect their new President, who will take over from Mr Carl Axel Rheborg the two-year presidency. In addition, two new Vice-Presidents will be elected as well as the experts to the various working groups of ECTAA, notably the Air Matters Committee, the Legal and Consumer Policy Working Group, the Fiscal Committee and the Technology Working Group.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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