The creation of Airlines 4 Europe (A4E) has been strongly criticised by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s director general, Olivier Jankovec, who accuses them of not being in touch with reality.
The new association, A4E, was set up by the chief executive officers of Air France KLM, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair, to lobby to reduce airport costs, deliver reliable and efficient airspace, and remove ‘unreasonable taxes’. Jankovec says the airlines are using airports as scapegoats and says they are trying to make up for their lack of competitiveness, who he says are “wilfully ignoring today’s market reality of ever-increasing airport competition”.
Jankovec says: “These airlines are building their unity on our back – as they are unable to come together on major strategic policy issues such as Open Skies, let alone foster wider aviation industry alignment.”
He continues: “For them, airports are just scapegoats. Their tired call for even more regulation of airports is just about boosting their profits – or supporting their own lack of competitiveness. There is absolutely nothing for the consumer with this agenda – let alone for Europe’s connectivity.”
He says ACI Europe is studying A4E’s report in detail but says members do not see the aeronautical revenues suggested in the figures given. ACI Europe also says airlines forget they pay below cost prices for facilities and services used, and charges levied do not cover operating and development costs of airport infrastructure.