Is Vistara, Singapore Airlines Proposed Cooperation Anti-Competitive?

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) on December 8, posted a media release asking for public feedback with regards to a proposed Singapore-India Commercial Cooperation Framework Agreement between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and TATA SIA Airlines Limited, the company that operates Vistara. The two parties entered into this agreement on February 13 this year before the full impact of COVID-19 pandemic was felt by the airlines’ industry.

The CCCS, which regulates competition in Singapore, received a joint application from SIA and Vistara seeking a decision on their proposed cooperation on November 30. The cooperation includes prorate arrangements and expanded code sharing to grow traffic between India and Singapore as well as between India and “certain agreed markets”.

Singapore established the CCCS in 2005 for the purpose of enforcing and investigating unfair trade practices, which have an adverse effect on competition, resulting in unreasonable pricing practices. Its mission is to make markets work well to create opportunities and choices for business and consumers in Singapore. It has the power to stop anti-competitive activities and impose financial penalties.

As of September 2019, SIA operated air passenger services to more than 63 destinations in 32 countries and territories using a fleet of 125 aircraft.

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