Vancouver Airport Authority Responds to Competition Tribunal Filing

YVR will defend its position on inflight catering licenses

Vancouver Airport Authority is disappointed that the Commissioner of Competition has chosen to file an application with the Competition Tribunal, seeking to require the introduction of new inflight catering services at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). It is Vancouver Airport Authority’s view that it has acted and is continuing to act in full compliance with the provisions of the Competition Act.  The matters raised in the application will be addressed effectively and appropriately before the Tribunal.  The Airport Authority will vigorously defend its right to determine how services are provided at YVR for the greatest overall benefit of its stakeholders. Making such determinations is at the heart of the Airport Authority’s unique, not-for-profit, public interest mandate to operate a safe and efficient airport and to promote economic development.

“Vancouver Airport Authority decided not to permit additional inflight caterers at YVR at this time for the purpose of maintaining healthy competition between the two full service caterers currently operating at the airport.  We explained this rationale for our decision and cooperated fully in the Competition Bureau’s investigation” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “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 inflight caterers currently operating at the airport.”

Vancouver Airport Authority is focused on providing a high-quality, competitive airport experience for its airline partners. This includes YVR’s new rates and charges program, ConnectYVR, which has reduced airline fees by 15 per cent—to one of the lowest levels in Canada. The Airport Authority does not own, operate or have an interest in inflight catering services provided at the airport. The Airport Authority contends that a third catering provider would negatively impact the quality and efficiency of the fresh food provision services for long haul carriers, which would ultimately lead to less competition.

“With the constraints on the market for inflight catering services, we do not believe that there has been adequate demand at the airport for additional providers,” said Craig Richmond. “We are continuing to assess the situation and we will defend our position, which is to make decisions that ensure we operate a safe, efficient and competitive airport that drives economic development in the region and benefits Canada as a gateway between Asia and the Americas.”