Turkish Airlines faces competition probe

Turkish Airlines faces competition probe

Turkish Airlines faces competition probe

DHA photo

Turkey’s competition board has decided to launch an investigation into Turkish Airlines, following a previous complaint filed by rival Pegasus.

One of the country’s largest private airline companies Pegasus had alleged that Turkish Airlines abused its dominant position in the market by engaging in exclusionary practices with its domestic and international flights departing from Istanbul in 2010.

The board had decided there was not enough evidence for imposing an administrative monetary fine on the national airline company and acquitted it of the charges.

However, an Ankara Administrative Court recently reversed the board’s Dec. 31, 2011 judgment, which has led the competition regulator to re-assess the complaint.

“The board, which negotiated the information and the documents in the file during its Aug. 13 meeting, decided to open an investigation into Turkish Airlines, according to the related Competition Law article,” the board decision read.

The board highlighted that the launch of an investigation did not necessarily mean the company would be fined.

Until 1983, Turkish Airlines was Turkey’s only airline company for both domestic and international flights. Pegasus, the next largest local player in the sector, has been complaining about the continuing dominance of Turkish Airlines in the market, claiming public support.