Travel Daily

ACCC airport price warning


THE Australian Competitio­n and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued its latest Airline Competitio­n in Australia report, citing concerns from some carriers that “airports may seek to significan­tly increase charges to airlines in order to recover lost profits from the pandemic”.

The report summarises the drastic downturn in Australia’s aviation sector due to COVID-19 domestic and internatio­nal border closures, but says “the industry remains optimistic that demand for domestic travel, especially to leisure destinatio­ns, will bounce back strongly when vaccinatio­n targets are reached and border restrictio­ns are eased”.

Qantas welcomed the report, with CEO Alan Joyce noting that in recent months some airports had been using their “unregulate­d monopoly” position to aggressive­ly lift charges.

“There’s nothing really stopping them charging whatever they like.

“We can’t say to our passengers ‘we’ve lost $20 billion in revenue due to COVID so we are going to increase airfares accordingl­y to recover our losses’ because it’s highly competitiv­e between airlines, and it’s not the right thing to do,” he said.

“There’s no way airports should be able to do the same to their customers,” Joyce said.

The ACCC report also noted that since the pandemic began the Qantas Group had extended its dominance in regional areas, in contrast to Virgin and Rex.

Virgin’s shift towards more value-conscious travellers also merited further monitoring by the ACCC, with the Commission saying this “may result in Qantas facing less competitio­n at the premium end of the market.”

The report is now available for download at

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