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Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet face the Italian inquiry into the prices of flights to Sicily

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ROME (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust authority has opened an investigation into possible price fixing for flights into and out of Sicily by airlines including Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet.

The investigation follows a complaint by the consumer group Codacons, which denounced “a specific collusive will” of the airlines to increase the prices of domestic flights to and from Sicily during the Christmas holidays, said the authority of regulation in its weekly bulletin.

The complaint also targeted state-owned ITA Airways, the successor to former national carrier Alitalia, he added.

In a statement to RockedBuzz via Reuters, easyJet and Wizz Air denied any wrongdoing.

“EasyJet strongly rejects these claims, adheres to relevant laws and regulations and will fully cooperate with authorities to demonstrate that it has always acted lawfully and competitively in the best interests of consumers,” it said.

Wizz Air said it “strenuously denies the allegations of any misconduct”, adding that it had “always acted in line with relevant applicable legislation” and was ready to cooperate with the authorities and support the ongoing investigation.

ITA Airways also denied wrongdoing. “(There is) no cartel,” chief executive Fabio Lazzerini told Italy’s AGI news agency, adding that the company was willing to cooperate with all authorities.

The cost of flights is particularly sensitive in Sicily, many of which live and work in northern or central Italy and generally wish to return to the island to spend Christmas with family and friends.

The Antitrust said its investigation will be completed by the end of next year.

(Reporting by Angelo AmanteAdditional reporting by Federico MaccioniEditing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and David Goodman)

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