New European CRS Rules To Take Effect March 29

The European Parliament and European Council recently finalized the effective date for new rules governing global distribution systems (or, computerized reservations systems, in the European vernacular): March 29, 2009.
The saga began years ago and reached a boiling part last year as industry constituents argued over the definition of "parent carrier," and more specifically whether Air France, Lufthansa and Iberia--which continue to own part of the parent company of Amadeus--would be considered parent carriers, and therefore subject to stricter competition guidelines.

Business Travel Coalition chairman Kevin Mitchell, who has closely been watching the changes to the European CRS Code of Conduct, in an email suggested to The Beat that the European Commission likely won't clarify that point "until there is a discreet event that forces an evaluation/analysis/finding." Mitchell also said to watch for "an Interpretive notice" from the EC--to be issued before March 29--that would "provide some indication of how it might approach the parent carrier question when it arises."

For background, previous coverage is available here for subscribers to The Beat, and here's a historical timeline we produced a while back.