20 minute interview: Airport Privatization
The debate was heated on the subject of airport privatization, with conflicting airline/airport narratives emerging. But, ultimately, common ground was found.
According to A4ANZ CEO Allison Roberts, privatization has not delivered the same benefits for consumers and airlines as it has for airport investors. She pointed to research showing that Australia’s privatized monopoly airports have earned excessive profits since being privatized, while ticket prices have fallen by 40% during the same period. This profit shift from airlines to airport shareholders made it difficult for airlines to cut fares further. In the absence of appropriate regulatory safeguards, Roberts echoed IATA’s position by calling for regulatory safeguards to be put in place to mimic a competitive environment.
Kansai Airports Co-CEO Emmanuel Menanteau was quick to defend airports, arguing that the private sector had stepped in to provide governments with an effective solution to develop much needed airport infrastructure. According to Menanteau, privatization has led to top-notch airport facilities and in the case of Kansai Airports, significant economic development in the neighborhoods in which the airports operate.
Moderator: Richard QuestSpeakers: Alison Roberts, Emmanuel Menanteau