Times have changed for airports – ACI Europe
Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, told World Routes delegates that “times have changed” with airports increasingly competing with one another to “lure airlines”. He said airport charges were declining or being frozen as gateways fight it out to attract new business and keep hold of current airlines.
Speaking at the World Route Development Summit at the 18th World Route Development Forum in Abu Dhabi, Jankovec said he was seeing a greater incidence of airports and airlines forming partnerships to improve profitability.
The ACI Europe director general was asked, during a discussion on constraints to growth and sustainability, whether airports were charging too much and investing in infrastructure to justify high charges. Jankovec said that on the contrary, nearly two thirds of European gateways had slashed or frozen charges.
He added: “I think, if you look at the airport sector, airports have gone through a big transformation. They have become a business in their own right and one of the main challenges is the increasing competition between airports.”
According to Jankovec, this year in Europe, 64 per cent of airports have either frozen or decreased their airport charges. “It is a clear indication that times have changed. Airports need to offer competitive charges. “It is also significant that there is now a lot of emphasis on non-aviation revenue,” he said.
“There is now more partnership between airlines and airports, although there are still times of friction. Airports are working hard to bring competitive proposals to airlines. For example, airports are paying a hefty charge to be here at World Routes to lure airlines to their own airport,” he added.
ACI Europe recently released a study that concluded there was evidence airports in Europe were increasing marketing themselves and competing with one another to attract airlines.