bmi, Heathrow’s second biggest airline, has told the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that the monopoly ownership by BAA of Britain’s busiest airports must come to an end.
The bmi group supports many of the findings and provisional conclusions set out in the OFT’s BAA airport market study paper. The OFT’s paper highlighted key issues and problems inherent with BAA’s monopoly provision of airport services.
Nigel Turner, chief executive officer of the bmi group, said: „We welcome the opportunity to make our views known to the Office of Fair Trading about a referral to the Competition Commission of the supply of airport services by BAA within the United Kingdom. We agree that the current BAA joint ownership of airports in the South East (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) and in Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow) does prevent, restrict and distort competition. The current regulatory regime in the guise of the CAA’s price control quinquennial reviews also contributes to that distortion of competition.
„We strongly advocate the break up of the BAA monopoly both in the South East and in Scotland and urge the OFT to refer the supply of airport services by BAA to the Competition Commission for further in-depth investigation. In our opinion, this is the only course of action that will remedy the current anti-competitive situation.
„Airlines have had to embrace competition for years, yet our major airports have been protected from it for far too long. This has led to inefficiency, inconsistency of service and inflation-busting price rises. The BAA monopoly must be dismantled as the current regime is inhibiting real intra-airport competition in the UK.
[GADS_NEWS]„The UK aviation industry has always prided itself on being at the forefront of innovation and promoting vigorous competition, but if this initiative is not taken now the future outlook for consumers, the industry and the wider UK economy will be bleak. bmi believes there is a very strong consumer case to warrant remedial relief by the Competition Commission following any investigation it may conduct to create greater competition between UK airports, particularly those London and Scottish airports owned by BAA“