DN - Defence Notes

Cautious welcome from easyJet for pricing proposals at Stansted

9th December 2008 - 16:05 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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easyJet has welcomed the CAA’s firm pricing proposals for the next five years at London Stansted Airport. "Keeping prices broadly flat over the coming years should ensure consumers continue to be protected from BAA’s worst monopolistic excesses", the airline says in a statement.

"We are pleased that on this occasion the CAA appears to have listened to and taken its lead from the recommendations of the Competition Commission. This is in stark contrast to its behaviour last year when its equivalent pricing plans for Gatwick showed clear disregard to the Competition Commission’s conclusions – a decision that is consequently subject to Judicial Review.

"However, easyJet is very concerned by the CAA’s apparent long-term plan to remove all price caps at Stansted and give BAA free reign to charge what it wants. This plan was rightly rejected by the Department for Transport in January of this year, on the basis that it was against the interests of the travelling public. Yet the CAA continues to push its own discredited view that Stansted somehow competes with other airports when all the evidence shows that it does not and it continues to cling to failed arguments that Stansted should at some time either be removed from regulation or should have such a high price cap that deregulation is achieved through the back door – in direct contravention of the DfT’s instructions.

"It is clear to everyone that what London’s airports need is better regulation as Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are all local monopolies with their own market power and with the potential for monopolistic price-gouging. Whether they are owned collectively or separately does not alter this fact. It is much more important that the DfT’s ongoing review of airport regulation puts the interests of the travelling public above the interests of the airport owner and that the sale process for Gatwick Airport does not merely replace one highly-indebted owner with another," the airline concluded.

 

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