Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

The federal Competition Tribunal has set a date for hearings between the Vancouver Airport Authority and the Competition Bureau, which has accused the airport operator of effectively dampening competition among in-flight catering companies.

In a case launched in 2016, the competition commissioner argued the airport authority had exploited its market position by denying new airplane catering suppliers access to the airport, resulting in higher prices and worse service.

The commissioner has asked the Competition Tribunal for an order requiring the airport authority to open Vancouver International Airport to greater competition.

The airport authority has told the quasi-judicial body it aims to foster competition but also has limited influence on the airline food market.

The airport had two full-service caterers in 2016.

The hearings are slated to run for 17 days between Oct. 2 and Nov. 15.

The Canadian Press

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