After the Christmas holidays have seen an unusual airfare price increase for flights connecting the primary Italian cities and Sicily, the Italian Competition Authority has launched an investigation. The antitrust regulator will look into the leading airlines offering air transport services to Sicily: flag carrier ITA Airways and low-cost carriers easyJet, Ryanair, and Wizz Air.
Domestic flights inbound and outbound of Sicily have been offered an average price of €201 ($214.10), which is more than 700% of the price recorded post-Christmas. After the 25th, the airfare prices averaged around €28 ($29.81), with several daily flights offered by the four named airlines.
The alarming issue was brought to light following a complaint by the consumer group Codacons, which alleged that a specific group of airlines was working together to possibly distort competition for domestic flights inbound and outbound of Sicily. The report from the consumer group said:
“We speak of a possible restrictive agreement on competition in the scheduled passenger air transport market, with particular reference to economy class flights on routes between Sicily and Palermo or Catania, Flights on routes between Sicily and Rome, Milan, Turin and Bologna, were also noted to be in violation of article 101 TFEU.”