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IATA Condemns Increase in Air Travel Charges: Airlines Are ‘Sticking It’ to Their Customers

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that planned cost increases by airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) will delay the restoration of air travel as well as harm international connectivity and customers.

According to a press release issued by IATA yesterday, October 4, the increased fees confirmed by airports and air navigation service providers have reached 2 billion euros, and if proposals are put forward on this issue, the increase could rise to tenfold, reports.

The IATA highlighted that the use of such a commercial strategy, simply because companies can do so, is badly detrimental to customers and to the recovery of air transport in general, urging companies to reduce the cost rather than increase it.

The $2.3 billion fee hike during this crisis is outrageous. We all want to leave COVID-19 behind. But putting the financial burden of a crisis of horrific proportions on your customers, just because you can, is a business strategy that only a monopoly could dream of. At a minimum, reducing cost – not increasing fees – should be high on the agenda for every airport and ANSP. It’s for her airline customers, said Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Jointly, air navigation service providers in 29 Eurocontrol countries, mainly state-owned, plan to recover 8 billion euros from airlines in order to cover unreached revenues during 2020 and 2021. This means that they want to recover everything they missed During the pandemic although there is a 40 per cent increase planned for 2022 alone.

Commenting on the situation, Walsh said such measures must stop because it is unacceptable to take advantage of customers in good times and “hold on to them in bad times”.

“We should not compromise the recovery through the irresponsibility and greed of some of our partners who have not handled the costs or exploited their shareholders for support,” Walsh added.

Some regulators, such as those in India and Spain, have recognized the danger posed by infrastructure providers and have stepped in with the increases suggested by airports, giving an example for other regulators to follow.

Due to COVID-19, airlines have reduced operating cost by 35 percent compared to the pre-pandemic level, which was supported by shareholder contributions and commercial borrowing. In addition, the airlines were supported by government aid in the form of loans that had to be repaid.

In order to create better conditions, IATA has urged airports and air navigation service providers to implement solutions that address the financial impact of the pandemic by implementing sustainable measures to control costs, benefit shareholders, access capital markets, and seek government assistance.

However, although the International Air Transport Association (IATA) was deeply disturbed by the situation, ACI Europe said the union had painted a distorted picture of the industry.

>> Travel demand during July fell by 53.1% compared to the same period in 2019, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association

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