Competition Bureau takes action against Vancouver Airport Authority

    September 29, 2016

    Unjustified restrictions harm competition

    The Competition Bureau took action against the Vancouver Airport Authority (VAA) today, seeking to stop it from imposing restrictions that decrease competition among in-flight catering companies at Vancouver International Airport.

    A Bureau investigation concluded that the VAA is restricting competition by denying new in-flight catering suppliers access to the airport. Airlines operating at the airport want greater choice of suppliers, and new suppliers want to meet this demand.

    Unlike other airport authorities in Canada, the VAA has refused to allow the new suppliers to operate at the airport. VAA has provided insufficient justification for the decision. Its conduct increases the costs of running an airline in Canada.

    Today's application to the Competition Tribunal seeks orders requiring the VAA to open Vancouver International Airport to greater in-flight catering competition.

    Quick Facts

    The VAA is responsible for the management and operation of Vancouver International Airport, which includes granting physical access to the airport.
    Vancouver International Airport is Canada's second busiest airport with over 20 million passengers in 2015.
    In-flight catering involves preparing meals for passengers and crew on commercial aircraft plus related galley handling services, such as the transportation of products and equipment to aircraft, warehousing and inventory management.


    "I am taking action today to stop the Vancouver Airport Authority's restrictions on competition for in-flight catering at Vancouver International Airport. As a gatekeeper, the VAA controls access to important resources that in-flight catering firms require to compete. The VAA must follow the Competition Act to drive innovation and allow market forces to work."
    John Pecman,
    Commissioner of Competition

    Competition Bureau