Giving Icelandair priority when it comes to allocating airport slots at Keflavík Airport hinders competition in the airline business in Iceland. This is the conclusion of the Icelandic Competition Authority, Vísir reports. For this reason the Competition Authority has sent a request to the minister for the interior and the Icelandic Transport Authority, asking them to interfere and act in the public interest by securing competition in commercial flight.
The airport slots in question are between 7:00 and 8:00 am and between 4:00 and 5:30 pm. Those are the airport’s busiest hours. An airport slot refers to the time an airline is given to land, take advantage of service provided, and take off.
The Competition Authority reached its conclusion after completing a study initiated by a complaint last year by WOW Air regarding unfair competition advantage by Icelandair due to airport slots.
The study revealed that those airport slots were especially valuable to those interested in competing for transit flights between Europe and North America with Keflavík Airport as a connecting airport.
The study also showed that not only has Icelandair had priority in terms of obtaining airport slots in the past, but still has priority when choosing new ones, because of increased capacity. This, the Competition Authority concludes, has given the company a huge competitive advantage.
The Competition Authority mentions that Isavia, the company which runs airport operations in Keflavík, has repeatedly denied the competitive importance of the airport slots in question.