European airlines demand fuel review

8th Aug 2006

European airlines are calling on regulators to fully investigate claims
of unfair monopolies in the jet fuel market.The Association of European Airlines has renewed its earlier calls for a
review of the way oil companies raise the price of refined jet fuel
faster than the increase in crude oil prices.

In June, Italy’s competition watchdog fined fuel suppliers €315 million
for uncompetitive practices. More recently, Austrian Airlines have
called on their national anti-trust agency to investigate the activities
of the state-owned OMV group, which not only supplies fuel directly to
the airline, but also controls the supply to the commercial fuel
companies operating in the Austrian market.

The AEA Secretary General, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus has commented, “AEA
has repeatedly called for other elements in the Value Chain to be
subject to the same market-oriented discipline as the airlines. Where
they exist among our suppliers and service providers, monopolies ought
to be dismantled or regulated”.

“The industry is suffering already from today’s exceptionally high fuel
costs. The last thing we need is for those costs to be further inflated
by unfair commercial practices”, he added.

According to the AEA, jet fuel costs have increased 37% from last year,
and airlines are spending up to a quarter of their operating costs on
jet fuel.


The European Commission antitrust authorities were unwilling to respond
at this stage.








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