Collusion on SK / DY only routes?

Old Mar 26, 19, 7:44 am
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Collusion on SK / DY only routes?

I am a monthly traveller on domestic CPH-AAL route on which only SK and DY operate. Thus, I monitor these prices frequently and have been wondering lately why prices have crept up and persisted to stay high.

Until roughly half a year ago I used to be able to find periods with good offers on the route. It used to be that DY would go as low as 199 DKK for sale periods in which periods SK would be 349-399 DKK (partly due to the checked baggage offered). When sale periods ended, prices would jump to 399 for DY and 549-599 for SK.

These days the standard price is 549 DKK for DY and 599 DKK for SK. In sales periods these prices can be slashed by 50 DKK tops.

I know it's a pretty bold claim to make, but I wonder if anyone else have had similar suspicions or noticed similarities on other routes domestic routes.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 8:04 am
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Don't you think that some people simply book the cheapest tickets? Let's say that SK is cheaper at one point, so the next passenger books SK and SK's price goes up and is now higher than DY's price, so the next passenger books DY and thus the prices are synchronised and approximately the same.

DSB also operates on this route (KÝbenhavns Lufthavn - Lindholm). The price is 438 kr if you use the travel card. Have you checked if DSB's price correlates to DY's and SK's prices? It takes over five hours, so some people will prefer to fly.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 8:35 am
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Maybe as part of DY's attempts to return to profitability, they are also less aggressive on the European fares?

Since short haul is working well for them, they may also want to see if they can't squeeze more money out here as well. They really need to look everywhere.

And as soon as they become less aggressive, SK will as well. Since they are also keen on a better yield.

Last edited by CPH-Flyer; Mar 27, 19 at 11:33 am
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Old Mar 27, 19, 3:39 am
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For international and domestic routes on which DY and SK are the only carriers or have at least a 2/3 share of the schedule, I find that DY prices remain substantially lower than SK at the time of my bookings. I also find that DY is more aggressive in discounting ticket prices than SK as departure time/day approaches and the flights end up going out with a lot of empty seats but that DY is not as aggressive in discounting as it used to be on day of departure.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
Don't you think that some people simply book the cheapest tickets?
Reminds me of this (article in Swedish, in 2010 competing airlines were buying Danish domestic campaign tickets in the name of Donald Duck to make them unavailable to the general public).
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Old Mar 27, 19, 9:51 am
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Since I was already in the Eurostat database (albeit looking for other data) I pulled up the stats on AAL for kicks: (report avia_paoac )


View Screen Capture

First thought was how the numbers have stayed the same of the years on the AAL-DK route, so SAS probably just lost to DY. Also how the UK traffic is growing steadily.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 11:15 am
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Given you have a duopoly on exactly this route and if both are satisfied with their market share, why should they offer lower prices?

And as CPH-Flyer said, Norwegian might go for profitability where possible since they are not in best shape. Same goes for SK. Hence higher prices and no collusion needed.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 4:35 pm
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I'm fully aware that DY and SK are better off not fighting price wars on their markets. I just find it puzzling that the SK and DY campaigns on this domestic route have ceased altogether.

As if to underline my point, the Danish SK-site was the only one not to have a 'Now-or-Never'-campaign this Thursday night whereas SK.se and SK.no had domestic campaigns.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 10:40 am
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I've been flying regularly on CPH-DUS. I never really looked for any competitor to SK, as the fares has been decent IMHO. But I have seen the same trend here, that the fares has gone up and the cheap tickets around DKK 500 has been gone for a while, but they seems to be back again from end April. An interesting observation is that when the route is services by a ATR/CRJ bird, the fares are higher compared to when it's served by a A3xx or B737. This suits me fine as I hate flying on the ATR and CRJ birds.

Another of my regular routes is CPH-ARN. Here the trend has been the same. Fares has gone up over the last 6 months, but is now on the way down again.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by highupinthesky View Post
I've been flying regularly on CPH-DUS. I never really looked for any competitor to SK, as the fares has been decent IMHO. But I have seen the same trend here, that the fares has gone up and the cheap tickets around DKK 500 has been gone for a while, but they seems to be back again from end April. An interesting observation is that when the route is services by a ATR/CRJ bird, the fares are higher compared to when it's served by a A3xx or B737. This suits me fine as I hate flying on the ATR and CRJ birds.

Another of my regular routes is CPH-ARN. Here the trend has been the same. Fares has gone up over the last 6 months, but is now on the way down again.
On a USD-basis, Iíve not seen DY prices for CPH-ARN being much higher on the upper end these last six months than say a comparable period 12 months earlier, although the cheapest prices seem to be gone faster or not show up as often. But given what has gone on with the employment situation in Copenhagen, southern Sweden and even in Stockholm, I canít say that I would be surprised if there has been increased demand as a result of the tighter labor market with increased employment and increased pay. On a USD-basis, the trains for CPH-Stockholm and Malmo-Stockholm seem to have had a proportionally greater increase in price and sell-out rate than the flights. But DY seems to indeed have gotten back to discounting in more recent weeks (even on day of flights) than has been the case for most of the last several months.
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