Saturday, 14 December 2019

Airline Cartel Probe;KPPU Find Indications of Ticket Price Fixing

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said they found strong indications of duopoly behind the expensive airplane ticket prices since October 2018. KPPU's supervisory commissioner Afif Hasbullah said the agency continues to investigate the allegation.

    "It's not just tickets, these airlines' duopoly is found everywhere," he told Tempo.

    Afif said there are also indications that the two airline groups that dominate the aviation sector, Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air, also agreed to regulate the price of air cargo services—which rose at almost the same time.

    The same indication was also found for sales of umra packages sold by travel agents appointed by the two groups.

    KPPU's investigation of the alleged duopoly began in January, involving numerous institutions from airlines, government authorities, and experts. 

    Said airline's official were reluctant to comment much about the investigation. Garuda Indonesia's commerce director Pikri Ilham Kurniansyah, whom the KPPU had asked statements from, said he has nothing to hide about the cartel allegation.

    "We have been around for long and we have experienced many market changes. Of course it is not a problem to us," he said. 

    Meanwhile, a senior economist from the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), Nawir Messi, said the domination of Garuda and Lion limits room from competition. "We need an audit on this joint operation—is it legal, and can it change the competition in the domestic aviation market," he remarked.

    CHRISTY FRANCISCA R | ANDI IBNU