AENA health and safety costs could increase air travel prices!

2020/06/11 13:14:49 Written by Canarian Weekly Business

The Canaries Tourism Board has objected to an Aena suggestion that it will finance health security measures at airports, by increasing the rates it charges airlines, which would cause the price of tickets to rise. The tourist board, the hoteliers association, and the airlines object to this measure.

The royal decree of June 9th determines that the costs incurred by Aena, due to the new health controls for coronavirus, are not covered by subsidies or other types of financial aid that the airport management company may receive, so have to be recovered through airport fees which they intend to pass on to the airlines, and ultimately, the islands' hoteliers warn that the increase will end up being paid for by tourists in the form of rising ticket prices.

"In a tourist destination such as the Canary Islands, which depends almost exclusively on air transport, any increase in air prices causes a drop in visitor numbers, especially in a context in which incentives for tourism recovery must be put in place”, said the Federation of Entrepreneurs of Hospitality and Tourism (FEHT).

This measure is also rejected by the Airline Association (ALA), which has asked the Government to cover all the costs derived from health controls at airports, and from the safety and hygiene measures put in place by Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (Aena) before the spread of Covid-19.

ALA said in a statement that the royal decree could mean an increase in airport tariffs for airlines, which the sector considers "a detriment and a brake on our necessary recovery."

The president of the ALA, Javier Gándara, has criticized that at a time when it is not known how the demand will respond, and in which "the time-scale of recovery is completely uncertain", the Government "places bumps in the road to recovery of the aviation sector and tourism in Spain".

Gándara said that it is "more necessary than ever" that these tariffs be reduced to stimulate demand instead of passing on costs through possible increases in airport tariffs.

The ALA has denounced the "difference in treatment" that the air sector is receiving with respect to other modes of transport, such as maritime, where, as it has stated, the Executive has approved a reduction in port charges.

They said that the Government "must be equally sensitive" with air transport, with measures that contribute to its recovery, given that it is "the sector that is suffering most intensely from this crisis" and recalled that "more than 80% of International tourism arrives by air."