ITALIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITY BREAKS UP THE LAST GREAT MONOPOLY ROUTE IN EUROPEAN AVIATION EASYJET AWARDED THE RIGHTS TO FLY BETWEEN MILAN-LINATE AND ROME-FIUMICINO
easyJet, Italy’s third largest airline, has today been awarded the rights to fly between Milan Linate airport and Rome Fiumicino airport in a landmark decision by the Italian competition authority (AGCM). As a result, easyJet will launch flights from early 2013 operating Airbus A319s on five services a day between the two airports.
easyJet welcomes the decision by the AGCM to enable competition on this key route between the Italian capital and its commercial centre – arguably the most important route for the Italian economy. Competition will be stimulated as easyJet will allow business and leisure passengers to benefit from lower fares and friendly service on a range of morning and evening departures out of the two cities.
Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s CEO, commented:
“easyJet is delighted to have been awarded the rights to fly between Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino. This represents the break up of the last great monopoly route in Europe, linking as it does the political capital and the industrial centre of Europe’s fourth largest economy. No other European flag carrier has control over a route of such importance. This is a historic decision and is a victory for Italian consumers. easyJet is looking forward to making travel easier and more affordable on this vital route.”
Frances Ouseley, Italy Country Director of easyJet, says:
“This decision represents a core milestone in the market. We believe that our services will be popular and have proved again and again that when we enter a new market we open it up – bringing in competition and lower fares and enabling more people to travel on the route. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard in the following weeks.”
Alitalia has traditionally been the only airline allowed to fly between Linate and Fiumicino and operates up to 30 services a day. As a result of the monopoly position, fares on the one hour flights between the two cities can be as high as 289 Euros one way. After a long running lobbying campaign by easyJet, the AGCM concluded that the route should be opened up to competition.
The decision comes the day after the UK’s CAA awarded easyJet the rights to fly between London and Moscow.