The Italian government caused a stir with its plan to introduce a price cap for domestic airline tickets to the islands. Now the considerations are being abandoned again and instead the national competition authority is instructed to intervene if necessary.
For example, in Germany and Austria there is a political creed that flying must become more expensive “for climate protection”. Things are seen a little differently in Italy, for example, because the government there is concerned about connecting the islands to the mainland. It is believed that the carriers would sell tickets particularly expensively, especially during high season, and that the islanders would subsequently suffer as a result.
A distinction must be made: In Italy, there are routes on which there is free competition with the islands and sometimes there are several providers, as well as subsidized routes. The latter are regularly advertised and then awarded. Italian providers do not necessarily always get a chance, because in Italy in particular the contract often goes to foreign providers because they obviously make better offers.
While on the PSO routes the prices are largely determined by the tender and the subsidy provider therefore has a significant influence on what the end customers have to pay, things are different on the routes where there is free competition. Supply and demand regulate the price here and airlines naturally always charge more when there is expected to be high tourist demand. Italy's government was massively bothered by the fact that "real moon prices" were offered during the high season - compared to the low season.
Of course, airlines don't like it at all if any government or other body interferes in their pricing. The Italians' plan isn't that easy to implement because various EU regulations protect the carriers from interference. In a different form, but for the same reason, the minimum prices for airline tickets propagated by Austria's Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) in 2020 also failed.
In Italy, maximum prices for domestic flights to islands are now off the table. Economy Minister Adolfo Urso stated, among other things, that the competition authority should be given more powers and should intervene if necessary. He hopes this will result in cheaper ticket prices.