Azara Blog: Office of Fair Trading to investigate UK airport sector

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Date published: 2006/07/01

The BBC says:

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to study the UK's airport sector to see if it works well for consumers.

The move, which the OFT first said was a possibility in May, follows the purchase by Spain's Ferrovial of the UK's main airports operator, BAA.

The OFT said it had not decided whether a more in-depth investigation by the Competition Commission was warranted.

"Nearly two thirds of UK air passengers begin or end their journey at a BAA airport," said the OFT in a statement.

"Within the London area this rises to nine out of 10 passengers, and in Scotland over eight out of 10 air passengers fly from a BAA airport."

BAA, which Ferrovial bought for £10.3bn at the start of this month, owns Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports.

Ferrovial said in May that it would fully cooperate with any competition probe into the UK airports industry if its bid for BAA was successful.

Critics of BAA's market domination have long called for it to be broken up.

Yes, BAA should be broken up. They can treat both passengers and airlines like rubbish because they know full well there is no competition. In the London area BAA only does not own Luton, and that has severe capacity constraints and poor transport links. Heathrow is a complete disgrace (especially terminals 1, 2 and 3). And Stansted is great because of Norman Foster, Easyjet and Ryanair, not because of BAA.

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