Runway Fees are a source of contention between airlines and airports. It’s Possible That Your Airfare Will Increase.
Separate industry groups representing airlines and airports fought this week, and you might be the loser.
The fees that airlines must pay to utilize runways and passenger terminals are at question. The prices vary by destination and the services provided; some sites tax airlines by the weight of the aircraft landing or taking off, while others charge airlines by the number of passengers.
Surcharges on itemized tickets may refer to “passenger facilities” and “airport cost recovery” when airlines pass the prices on to customers. On long-haul flights, Heathrow Airport in London, for example, charges £38.33 ($52.19) each passenger.
However, according to the Telegraph, Heathrow aims to nearly increase the fee in 2022, reaching £67.86 ($92.40).
The London airport isn’t the only one. Many airports around the world are hiking their usage fees to recuperate those losses and maintain their infrastructure after an extended period of financial disaster in the aviation business caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and its huge fall in air traffic.
Airlines are furious.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which met in Boston this week for its annual general meeting, issued a statement calling the proposed increases in airport fees “outrageous.”
IATA argues that charges have lately increased by $2.3 billion globally, claiming that this is a result of airports and government regulators attempting to shift the financial weight of the Covid problem to airlines and their customers (that would be you).
“I’m going to set the alarm today. If the sector is to have a chance to recover, this must cease “Willie Walsh, the IATA’s chief, said in a statement.
Heathrow, for the reasons indicated above; Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which intends to boost rates by over 40% in the next three years; and Canada’s civil air navigation system, which wants to raise prices by 30% over five years, are among the biggest offenders, according to IATA.
Before you revel in the beautiful schadenfreude of airlines lamenting increased prices, keep in mind that the carriers will undoubtedly pass the expenses on to consumers in the form of higher fares.
Heathrow’s anticipated increase in long-haul costs, according to Virgin Atlantic, “would cost a family of four flying to Florida an additional £200” ($272).
Increases in airport fees might raise ticket prices across the board, forcing many budget-conscious passengers to reconsider flying at a time when the sector is still recovering.
Airports, for their part, issued a statement through the worldwide trade association Airports Council International in response to IATA’s harsh criticism (ACI).
ACI director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira expresses his disappointment with IATA’s tone, noting that “airports have likewise endured enormous financial hardship and have had to make drastic adjustments to stay afloat” during the pandemic.
He claims that airport fees account for a minor portion of overall airline expenditures and that, in any event, “airports will always be infrastructure-intensive businesses — this translates into a high ratio of fixed costs.”
To put it another way, the higher fees are required to keep operations running without drastic staffing and service cuts.
IATA claims that airports, many of which are state-owned and operated, could do more to minimize costs or secure additional money through financial markets and government aid in its statement.
Otherwise, everyone might have to pay more for their flights.