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Press Release No.: 28

Date: 9 August 2007

Fixing the UK's Airports

Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reacted positively to the UK Competition Commission’s Statement of Issues with respect to the BAA Airports Market Investigation.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO said:

“The Competition Commission has confirmed what every traveler through a BAA airport knows: that it needs desperately fixing and fast.

The current airport structure and regulatory system is not working. Lack of investment by the BAA airport monopoly is delivering embarrassingly-low service levels on everything from security wait-times to baggage delivery and almost everything in-between. This must change.

The regulator has failed to put in place effective incentives to deliver acceptable service levels. As a result, Heathrow is an out-of-control monopoly that gets away with pocketing a 42% margin at the expense of the 68 million beleaguered passengers using its poor facilities each year.

The Competition Commission’s inquiry will play a critical role in defining the best long-term airport structure to deliver world-class airport facilities at the most important global hub.

At the same time, we cannot wait a year to start improving. Heathrow traffic is down 1.7% while the rest of the world is growing.  The unfortunate reality is that passengers are avoiding the mess at Heathrow and this is impacting the UK’s competitiveness. The UK’s unique one-bag rule must be reviewed and brought in line with global standards.  And immediate further investment by Heathrow in adequate staff and equipment to handle demand is urgently needed.”

Editor's Notes:

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications
+41 22 770 2967
corpcomms@iata.org

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