Ryanair has called on the UK’s Office of Fair Trading to investigate Air BP’s “unjustified attempts to impose monopoly increases of over 50% on the delivery cost of aviation fuel at Belfast City and Glasgow Prestwick airports - when inflation is less than 5%.“Ryanair has written to Air BP to request an explanation for the increases but claims Air BP has refused to provide any valid justification.
Ryanair has called on the OFT to take “immediate action against this blatant profiteering and abuse of monopoly by Air BP.”
Ryanair’s Director Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Jim Callaghan, said:
“This is the kind of blatant abuse of a monopoly position that the OFT was established to deal with. 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) for the delivery of aviation fuel. This abuse comes at a time when BP and the other oil majors are making record billion pound profits at the expense of the aviation industry, which is currently in crisis. Despite repeated requests, Air BP has failed to provide any valid justification for these inflation busting increases.
“Of the 150 airports at which Ryanair currently operates to, Belfast City and Prestwick are the only two airports where Air BP has a complete monopoly and where they are subjecting users to this kind of profiteering at a time of record oil prices and oil company profits.
“We are therefore calling on the OFT to take immediate action against Air BP and prevent them from imposing these abusive and unjustified increases. At a time of recession, when consumer confidence is collapsing, this kind of blatant abuse by a massively profitable oil company cannot be accepted.
“Belfast City Airport has made it known to us that if AirBP and Ryanair are unable to agree on pricing, then they will be looking at introducing alternative suppliers. The airport has told us that there has been no increase in infrastructure costs imposed by the airport nor has there been expenditure on any facilities which justifies this cost increase”.