Time for praise, and also regret: IATA chief

by Canadian Shipper

International Air Transport Association Director General & CEO Pierre J. Jeanniot has praised airport and air navigation authorities worldwise for their response to the airline crisis following September 11’s terrorist events, but says that some are also exacerbating the crisis.

“More than 30 airport and air navigation authorities in the USA, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have responded with great imagination to the serious operational and financial difficulties faced by airlines in the wake of September 11. Certain airports and ATS providers reduced charges and rates to airlines, at least temporarily; to defer charge increases; to increase the period for paying bills; and to halt all non-essential spending and to take other measures to reduce the costs which they pass on to their prime customers, the airlines.”

“These service providers have shown what can be achieved, given an appreciation for the current plight of civil aviation. Regrettably others – particularly certain European Air Traffic Services providers – have shown rather less imagination. They have decided that their services have an irreducible cost and are not ready to make any attempt to reduce that cost. They simply divide the cost by their notion of likely traffic and arrive at charging rates which are in some cases 20 percent higher in 2002 than those for the current year,” said Jeanniot.

Jeanniot said that these service providers are in fact exacerbating the deepening crisis facing the airlines.

“They include the national air traffic services providers in: Belgium with a 24% increase in the unit rate; Spain, with a 20 per cent increase; Germany, +16 per cent, Netherlands, +12 per cent, and Switzerland, eight per cent. Even the EUROCONTROL Agency, that collects charges on their behalf, is set to increase its charges by five per cent,” he said.

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