Europe’s airport charges have doubled in 10 years

Airlines are calling for tighter rules on airport charges after IATA research found charges in Europe have doubled in 10 years. While the average cost of an air ticket remained virtually the same, including all ancillary charges such as hold bags, the revenue portion of the ticket price for airlines fell from 90% to 79%. Meanwhile, the portion of the ticket price taken by the airport has doubled, and so too have passenger taxes. “Had airport charges remained constant over the 2006-2016 period consumers could have benefitted, on average, €17 Euros per one-way trip,” said airline body IATA. This amount equates to nearly 10% of the average ticket cost. The association is calling on the European Union to significantly strengthen economic regulation of ‘major European airport monopolies’. “Airlines, like all competitive businesses, are in a constant struggle to improve efficiency,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general and CEO. “Europe’s airports however are largely insulated from competitive forces. “Europe’s light-handed Airport Charges Directive has failed Europe’s travellers and its own competitiveness by letting airport charges rise. “Tighter EU regulation is needed to stop airport monopolies from taking money from the pockets of travellers to reward investors.” It said the increasing private ownership of European airports is exacerbating the problem. Since 2010 the number of European airports in private hands has almost doubled. “In many cases privatisation has failed to deliver promised benefits to passengers and the local economy often suffers the results of higher costs. The balancing role of effective and strong economic regulation is essential,” said de Juniac.