British Columbia

YVR operators guilty of unfair practices, says Competition Bureau

The federal Competition Bureau claims the Vancouver Airport Authority is unfairly limiting competition among in-flight catering companies at Vancouver International Airport.

Application claims competition for in-flight catering services wrongly limited by Vancouver Airport Authority

The federal Competition Bureau wants the Vancouver Airport Authority to allow more companies to compete for in-flight catering services at YVR. (CBC)

The federal Competition Bureau says the Vancouver Airport Authority (VAA) is unfairly limiting competition among in-flight catering companies at Vancouver International Airport.

In a news release, the Competition Bureau says it has applied to the Competition Tribunal seeking an order that will require the VAA to allow greater access to in-flight catering companies wanting a piece of the business at YVR.

"The VAA must follow the Competitions Act to drive innovation and allow market forces to work," said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition.

The Competition Bureau says airlines operating out of YVR want a greater choice of suppliers, but that "unlike other airport authorities in Canada, the VAA has refused to allow the new suppliers to operate at the airport," conduct which  "increases the cost of running an airline in Canada."

Currently only two multinational catering companies — CLS Catering and Gate Gourmet — are licensed to operate at the Vancouver airport.

In response, the VAA said it will defend its position on in-flight catering licenses.

"Vancouver Airport Authority decided not to permit additional in-flight caterers at YVR at this time for the purpose of maintaining healthy competition between the two full service caterers currently operating at the airport," said Craig Richmond, VAA President and CEO.

"We are committed to providing economic benefits to our communities, and one way we do this is by attracting and retaining long-haul carriers whose needs are met through the range of quality options provided to airlines and passengers by the in-flight caterers currently operating at the airport," he said.

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