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Saturday, January 30, 2010

SA Airlines Try To Fix Prices For World Cup

Because of the sheer size of South Africa as a country, internal flights are going to be critical for fans attending the 2010 World Cup Finals.

To give a simple example : Cape Town to Johannesburg is a 17 hour drive and let's face it, no one wants to drive for 17 hours when there's football to be watched and drinking to be done.

While it's only to be expected that hotels and other businesses will put up their prices to take advantage of the influx of visitors for the finals, there is a line in the sand. And price-fixing well and truly crosses that line.

However, that hasn't stopped South Africa's domestic airlines from trying to get together and fix prices for internal airtravel during May and June 2010. Luckily, one of the airlines bottled it and have passed on evidence to South Africa's competition watchdog in exchange for 'leniency'.

The watchdog are now investigating a number of big name airlines, including part-British Airways-owned Comair as well as state-owned South African Airways, 1time, SA Airlink, Mango and SA Express.

This kind of thing makes me well and truly sick. These airlines were already going to make bumper profits as a result of the Finals, but their greed has obviously got the better of them. I hope they get huge penalties and all passengers can claim compensation.

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posted by mark_s at 7:19 PM


Blogger AfricanFlyer said...

South African Airways is being very clever playing a Richard Branson.I think a staff member savvy with this anti competition laws knew SAA would be in deep trouble and quickly alerted the authorities betraying its erstwhile partners in crime.

While hiking prices is not illegal due to the expected rise in demand during the World Cup in June/July,forming cartels to cooperate in pricing strategies is anti competitive and illegal and SAA should face the law;they could maybe get a 'lenient' sentence for blowing up the whistle but there should be no immunity from prosecution.

12:09 AM  

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