Airport charges 'too high' - Rob Fyfe
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 6:31p.m.
By Tony Field
Chief executive Rob Fyfe is departing Air New Zealand on a positive note – the airline is predicting it will double its earnings in the coming year.
But he did strike one sour note at his final profit announcement.
“Our view is that airport charges are too high,” he says.
Mr Fyfe says the charges it pays the local airports have gone up 112 percent in five years, from $80 million in 2007 to $171 million now.
“If you look at the coming year our airport charges will go up by another $25 million, and ultimately that just becomes another cost burden on customers.”
Mr Fyfe's criticism came on a day where Auckland Airport announced a 41 percent lift in profit to $142 million.
The airport says the charges are in line with inflation.
“We know across New Zealand we are in the middle of the pack. If we compare them to Australian airports we know we are about half the price of a typical Australian airport for domestic charges,” says Auckland Airport CEO Simon Robertson.
An average flight from the capital to Auckland will cost around $270. Wellington Airport says it charges $8.90 per passenger for the airline to land.
Flying into Auckland airport, the charge would be $8.65.
But Auckland Airport says this includes third party costs, including Government agencies such as security, air traffic control and rescue services.
Auckland Airport says it’s increased its charges because it’s going to be spending $30 million over the next couple of years upgrading its domestic terminal.
Wellington's also planning a major revamp.
“Over the next five years we are spending $65 million on our aeronautical assets, and that's all about maintaining runways, widening the piers, so it's all about improving the experience for the customer,” says Wellington Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson.
The airline and the airports may have to agree to disagree on this issue - they need to work together on their common goal of attracting more visitors to New Zealand.
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2/09/2012 5:30:05 p.m.
Airports should be run as public utilities. The business model doesn't serve the majority of users well at all.
2/09/2012 11:59:09 a.m.
Maybe competition could be developed in the form of Kapiti Coast Airport and Whenuapai Airport for domestic flights at least....
2/09/2012 11:17:20 a.m.
Simon jackson wrote:
Typical comment from airport monopolies. Without the Airlines flying people into NZ the airports would have NO business. Very short sighted. Take all the charges from the airline tickets, and make passengers pay them at the airports. They will soon realise they are being ripped off by the airport monopolies!!!! They airways equipment and navigation aids are paid directly from the airlines.
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