Airline passenger fuel surcharges on long-haul flights: price-fixing

Office of Fair Trading (OFT) closed Competition Act 1998 case.

Case reference: CE/7691-06

Summary of work

On 19 April 2012 the OFT issued a decision that British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) engaged in anti-competitive practices in breach of the Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the TFEU in relation to the pricing of air passenger fuel surcharges. The OFT has found that between August 2004 and January 2006, BA and VAA co-ordinated their surcharge pricing on long-haul flights to and from the UK through the exchange of pricing and other commercially sensitive information. The OFT has imposed a fine of £58.5 million on BA. VAA brought the matter to the OFT's attention and, under the OFT’s leniency policy, has not been fined.

Published 19 April 2012