Antitrust Case Against Airlines Over Christmas Flight Prices to be Dropped

A senior official stated on Thursday that the antitrust regulator of Italy is poised to abandon a case against airlines regarding possible price fixing for flights during last year's Christmas season between the island of Sicily and cities on the Italian mainland. 


The investigation targeted national operator ITA Airways, as well as budget airlines easyJet, Ryanair, and Wizz Air. Antitrust official Guido Stazi told parliament that the regulator had found no evidence to conclude that prices of flights last December had been determined by "illicit coordination" among airline operators. The airlines had already been informed of the findings, and the case will be officially closed in the next few weeks. 

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The investigation followed a complaint by consumer group Codacons and looked into flights connecting the Sicilian cities of Palermo and Catania with places including Rome, Milan, Turin, and Bologna. Over the summer, the issue of the high price of flights to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia flared up again when the Italian government responded initially with a plan to cap fares. 

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The government changed course after protests led by Ryanair, the market leader in Italy, and requested that the antitrust body regulate prices.

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