SAS has today reported Västerås Flygplats AB (Västerås Airport) to the Swedish Competition Authority. Västerås Airport has been reported because SAS believes that the Airport is applying discriminatory conditions relating to the charging of airport fees.
Västerås Airport is treating SAS and other players unfairly and improperly by providing more favorable conditions for certain airlines.
In a letter to Västerås Flygplats AB, dated February 14, SAS requested that the Airport report openly on its finances and the amounts the various airlines pay in airport fees. Västerås Airport has not responded to this request and SAS has therefore decided to let the Competition Authority examine the matter.
As a result of information in the media, SAS has reason to suspect that Västerås Airport is offering Ryan Air extremely low fees. The level of the fees is so low that, if the information is correct, they do not cover the cost of airport operations.
“We suspect that SAS, Skyways and/or the taxpayers in Västerås Municipality are subsidizing Ryan Air’s operations in Västerås. Our only aim is to be able to compete on an equal basis,” says Hans Ollongren, head of SAS Authority Contacts at SAS.
In Sweden and, in principle, at all other locations in the world, the airlines pay for the infrastructure that is used. Payment is made through a number of fees, mainly landing fees and passenger fees. Since airports are considered natural monopolies, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), has established a number of principles regarding the levels of these fees. The basic principle, in addition to the fees being cost-related, is that they must be non-discriminatory. This results in, for example, the airport publishing an official tariff that all companies operating at the airport must pay.
The ICAO’s principles are complied with fully by Sweden and have, above all, been affirmed historically in the relationship between the airlines and the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LFV). At all airports owned and operated by LFV, there is an official price list.