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1998 had seen further efforts by the European Commission to reduce the number of natural monopolies in the air transport market. The Council of the EU discussed a directive aimed at regulating airport practices by limiting the level of charges, putting an end to unfair practices and improving transparency for users. At the same time, the Commission set conditions on airline alliances after having carried out investigations into several alliances between EU and US carriers.
Another significant issue in 1998 has been the review of conditions of carriage and tickets in consultation with the Commission and with consumer organisations, as well as the proposal for a revision of Regulation No. 895/91 regarding denied boarding compensation. Also in high profile during 1998 has been the proposal for a multilateral treaty between the EU and Eastern European countries regarding the adoption of the air law regime of the EU and EU competition law, which would create a common European aviation area.
These various developments have provided the principal topics for discussion at the Association's annual conference for 1998.;The Association is grateful to Austrian Airlines Osterreichische Luftverkehrs AG and Bank Austria Aktiengesellschaft for their generous contribution towards the cost of the seminar.