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October 5, 2021

IATA warns that increase in aviation charges may stall recovery

IATA claimed that the airports and ANSPs have already increased aviation charges by nearly $2.3bn.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed concerns regarding a planned increase in aviation charges by the airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs).

The association warned that the move will affect international connectivity and may stall the recovery of the air travel industry.

IATA, a trade association of world’s airlines, noted that airports and ANSPs have already increased charges by $2.3bn. Additional increases can be ten-fold the figure, it added.

IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “A $2.3bn charges increase during this crisis is outrageous. We all want to put Covid-19 behind us.

“But placing the financial burden of a crisis of apocalyptic proportions on the backs of your customers, just because you can, is a commercial strategy that only a monopoly could dream up.

“At an absolute minimum, cost reduction, not charges increases, must be top of the agenda for every airport and ANSP. It is for their customer airlines.”

It said that the Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the UK is planning to increase charges by over 90% by next year while the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) has placed a request to increase charges by more than 40% over the next three years.

On the other hand, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) seeks to increase charges by 38% next year and NavCanada would be increasing charges by 30% over the next five years.

IATA also claimed that ANSPs of the 29 Eurocontrol states are planning to earn nearly $9.3bn (€8bn) from airlines to recover revenues missed in 2020/2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some regulators in the countries such as Spain and India have already intervened on the increases proposed by airports, IATA said.

Alternatively, IATA proposed some measures to airports and ANSPs to address the financial impact of the pandemic.

These measures include implementation of sustainable cost control activities, seeking government aid, access to capital markets and tapping shareholders.

Meanwhile, ACI World, a representative of airport authorities, expressed disappointment over the IATA statement.

ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “Claims made about the airport industry are out of context and don’t reflect the efforts made by airports to support the aviation ecosystem during the pandemic.”

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