SAS asks regulator to probe Ryanair fees at Vasteras

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Scandinavian flag-carrier SAS has lodged a complaint with Swedish competition regulator Konkurrensverket (KKV) over charging levels at Vasteras Airport near Stockholm, saying it believes the airport operator is offering Irish budget carrier Ryanair unreasonably low fees.

SAS formally asked the airport operator to disclose its financial arrangements with its airline customers in a letter dated 14 February. But SAS claims that the airport has not responded to its request for openness on the issue.

“As a result of information in the media, SAS has reason to suspect that Vasteras Airport is offering Ryanair extremely low fees,” says the carrier. “The level of fees is so low that, if the information is correct, they do not cover the cost of airport operations.

“We suspect that SAS, Skyways [its partner airline] and/or the taxpayers in the Vasteras municipality are subsidising Ryanair’s operations in Vasteras. Our only aim is to be able to compete on an equal basis.

“SAS has therefore decided to let the competition authority examine the matter.”

The airport is approximately one hour’s travelling time outside the Swedish capital and is one of two Stockholm airports used by Ryanair – the other being Stockholm Skavsta, where the subject of fees has already been at the centre of a row between Ryanair and Skavsta airport operator TBI.

Vasteras Airport operator spokesman Mats Astrom says that the company is not prepared to disclose its pricing arrangements with any third party, including SAS, and adds that the operator “welcomes” the opportunity to defend itself against the Scandinavian airline.