Eurocontrol unit rate proposals unacceptable: IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted sharply to proposals from 19 of 34 Eurocontrol states to increase overflight route charges in 2010.

The proposals by the 19 states will result in a 2.7% net increase in average unit rates in 2010 or US$360 million for the industry overall.

These proposals were made in advance of tomorrow’s meeting of the Eurocontrol Enlarged Committee for Route Charges that will be attended by states representing air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airlines in the region.
“I applaud the 15 states who plan to reduce or freeze their en route air navigation charges,” says IATA CE Giovanni Bisignani.

“But the savings they delivered were wiped out by the out-of-control monopolists completely divorced from reality, proposing increases in the middle of an unprecedented industry crisis. The impact of the 2.7% increase in unit rates is equal to adding US$360 million to airline costs. That is not acceptable,” he adds.

The mooted increases come as airlines brace for losses of up to $11 billion for the current year as result of lower demand following the global financial crisis.

IATA, with the full endorsement of the European Commission, urged all providers of air navigation services in Eurocontrol to freeze or reduce unit rates in 2010. The response breaks down as follows:
·       Eight states proposed to freeze unit rates at 2009 levels: Belgium, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia and Slovakia
·       Seven states proposed reductions below 2009 levels: Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Moldova, Malta, Bulgaria and Finland
·       19 states proposed increases over 2009 levels: Armenia, Serbia-Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, France, Albania, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, and Lithuania

The highest increase was proposed by Armenia at 32%. Adjusting for the amount of traffic handled, the greatest impact of the increases will be felt by proposals for increases in Poland (+18%), Romania (+17%), Austria (+14%), France (+6%), the United Kingdom (+5%) and Italy (+4%).
“To survive we need to cut costs. That burden must be shared across the value chain—including our ANSPs partners. The unacceptable and out of touch proposals from 19 Eurocontrol states and their ANSPs demonstrate beyond doubt that we must urgently implement a robust performance framework under the Single European Sky regulations,” insists Bisignani.