Fabian Demicoli

Use of MIA Airport Areas for retailing

 GRTU has this week written to the Ministry for Infrastructure Transport and Communication (MITC) and the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) following a just complaint GRTU has received from one of its members.

The MIA privatisation project was intended to give Malta a more efficient airport facilities centre. It was never intended to create unfair competition against private developers, retailers and service providers.

It now appears that no supervision whatsoever is being practiced on what exactly were the terms and conditions of the Privatisation Act. Already we have seen MIA using land obtained under the Privatisation Act to unfairly compete with developers that they themselves had to buy this acquired land from MIA at market prices to develop.

GRTU is now witnessing MIA utilising spaces in the departures lounge for normal shopping during the festive season in direct and unjust competition with high street retailers. GRTU considers this as highly unfair as MIA was granted these facilities to provide airport facilities and retailers could not have possibly competed with the current private owners of MIA to win these exceptional facilities. GRTU abided by the decision that MIA had the right to offer retail facilities in this restricted area of the departures lounge open only to passengers who have crossed passport control. MIA has an absolute dominant position, which it is now clearly abusing.

GRTU requested MCCAA and MITC as the public regulators responsible for competition and civil aviation to investigate this complaint. 

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