Competition Bureau accuses YVR of restricting competition among airline caterers

OTTAWA – The Competition Bureau is accusing the Vancouver Airport Authority of imposing restrictions which it says decreases competition among in-flight catering companies.

The regulator has applied to the Competition Tribunal for an order requiring the airport authority to open Vancouver International Airport, which has two full-service caterers, to greater competition.

The application followed an investigation by the bureau.

“As a gatekeeper, the VAA controls access to important resources that in-flight catering firms require to compete,” John Pecman, commissioner of competition said in a statement.

The airport authority said it’s disappointed by the bureau’s decision and will “vigorously defend” its right to determine how services are provided at the airport.

“With the constraints on the market for inflight catering services, we do not believe that there has been adequate demand at the airport for additional providers,” airport authority chief executive Craig Richmond said.

“We are continuing to assess the situation and we will defend our position, which is to make decisions that ensure we operate a safe, efficient and competitive airport that drives economic development in the region and benefits Canada as a gateway between Asia and the Americas.”

The VAA is responsible for the management and operation of Vancouver International Airport, Canada’s second busiest airport with over 20-million passengers in 2015.