Airlines for Europe (A4E) managing director Thomas Reynaert has called for a “proper consultation” on airport changes, labeling the current regulatory regime as “dysfunctional.”
“It's natural that after a crisis, or a downside, that suppliers will try to recuperate their losses,” Reynaert told delegates at Routes Europe in Bergen.
But he stressed that airport price hikes of 10-30% will only hinder the recovery, given the cost-driven nature of aviation.
“Proper consultation with airlines is not always happening. We know that the airport charges directive is dysfunctional. It really hasn't brought competition amongst airports, which it should have. So, I think we need to look at reopening, or continuing, discussion on the airport charges directive,” he said.
Reynaert said the main issue that airlines have with the status quo is the almost unilateral way that charges are calculated and imposed.
“I think the European Commission should put it back in the table where we can have a proper discussion on the regulatory framework, to improve the regulatory framework for these airport charges, then at least our airline members can go to the negotiating table in an honest and fair way—a transparent manner—and have a proper discussion. I think that's the most important structural solution going forward.”