European airport boss calls for scrutiny of rising airfares

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A senior European airport government has known as on regulators to scrutinise the price of air fares following a surge in ticket costs this 12 months.

Olivier Jankovec, director-general of airport commerce physique ACI Europe, stated ticket costs had risen 30 per cent year-on-year in Europe and regulators ought to “monitor the extent of air fares, and test whether or not there isn’t a abuse of pricing energy”.

Ticket costs have shot up regardless of the weak financial backdrop because of a mix of giant demand for the reason that finish of pandemic restrictions and a scarcity of plane. 

Jankovec stated he was not asking for air fares to be capped, however that it was “legit” to query why many main airports had their touchdown charges capped whereas airways have been free to cost no matter they needed.

Regulators just like the Civil Aviation Authority within the UK oversee shopper safety within the business, together with passenger rights throughout disruption.

Olivier Jankovec, director-general of airport commerce physique ACI Europe, stated ticket costs had risen 30 per cent year-on-year in Europe © Iga Havalimani Isletmesi A.S.

The CAA has intervened when there have been issues like final summer season’s journey chaos, and the delays to passenger refunds for cancelled flights throughout the pandemic.

However whereas nationwide regulators can cap touchdown charges that airports are allowed to cost, they don’t have any position in setting airfares.

One government at a European regulator stated it will be “difficult” to regulate ticket costs.

Jankovec stated airways “proceed to cry and whine” about airport touchdown fees, that are handed on to passengers via airfares, whereas “exerting large pricing energy” by elevating ticket costs.

In response, commerce group Airways for Europe, which represents carriers together with easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways, stated competitors amongst airways has helped drive down air fares and “delivered reasonably priced air journey for hundreds of thousands of European customers”.

“Finally, airports — particularly bigger ones — nonetheless perform as pure monopolies, necessitating agency regulatory oversight to maintain them in test,” it stated.

Airways and airports have repeatedly clashed because the business has recovered from the pandemic. 

London’s Heathrow has been the location of the largest rows, with airways together with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic main a profitable push to cease the airport elevating its charges by 90 per cent following the pandemic.

ACI Europe on Tuesday stated Europe’s airports posted a mixed web revenue of €6.4bn in 2022, the business’s first since 2019. But it surely stated this had partly been achieved by firms “considerably” reducing capital funding. 

The business physique stated the variety of cities linked by air journey in Europe has fallen 16 per cent since 2019 as airways have prioritised the busiest and most profitable routes. This implies “travellers from European airports proceed to see fewer choices”. 

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