Ryanair asks fair trade office to investigate fuel prices

Hotel News - 20/10/2008

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Ryanair is demanding a probe by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into Air BP's "unjustified attempts to impose monopoly increases of over 50%" on jet fuel prices.

The Irish no-frills carrier is claiming that Air BP enjoys a "complete monopoly" on the sale of aircraft fuel at Belfast City and Glasgow Prestwick airports, and that it is not offering an explanation for recent price increases. Air BP has in fact justified the increases as reasonable.

According to fuel and service provider, prices are pre-set "by mutual negotiation," and thereby "reflect current market and cost environments."

Air BP said it was "confident" that it hadn’t violated any anti-competition laws and was surprised that Ryanair was involving the OFT.

The airline explained that it has written to Air BP on a number of occasions, asking for an explanation of "these rapacious increases," but said that the company "refused to provide any valid justification."

"Air BP has a complete monopoly on the supply of aviation fuel at these airports and is abusing this position to unilaterally impose over 50% cost increases (over 10 times the rate of inflation)," said Jim Callaghan, the director of legal and regulatory affairs for Ryanair.

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