Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reacted sharply to proposals from 19 of 34 Eurocontrol states to increase overflight route charges in 2010. The proposals by the 19 states will result in a 2.7% net increase in average unit rates in 2010 or US$360 million. These proposals were made in advance of the 25 November meeting of the Eurocontrol Enlarged Committee for Route Charges that will be attended by states representing air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airlines in the region.

“I applaud the 15 states who plan to reduce or freeze their en route air navigation charges. But the savings they delivered were wiped out by the out-of-control monopolists completely divorced from reality, proposing increases in the middle of an unprecedented industry crisis. The impact of the 2.7% increase in unit rates is equal to adding US$360 million to airline costs. That is not acceptable,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

IATA, with the full endorsement of the European Commission, urged all providers of air navigation services in Eurocontrol to freeze or reduce unit rates in 2010. The response breaks down as follows:

  • Eight states proposed to freeze unit rates at 2009 levels: Belgium, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia and Slovakia
  • Seven states proposed reductions below 2009 levels: Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Moldova, Malta, Bulgaria and Finland
  • 19 states proposed increases over 2009 levels: Armenia, Serbia-Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, France, Albania, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, and Lithuania

The highest increase was proposed by Armenia at 32%. Adjusting for the amount of traffic handled, the greatest impact of the increases will be felt by proposals for increases in Poland (+18%), Romania (+17%), Austria (+14%), France (+6%), the United Kingdom (+5%) and Italy (+4%).

“To survive we need to cut costs. That burden must be shared across the value chain - including our ANSPs partners. The unacceptable and out of touch proposals from 19 Eurocontrol states and their ANSPs demonstrate beyond doubt that we must urgently implement a robust performance framework under the Single European Sky regulations,” said Bisignani.

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • The 2.7% increase unit rate increase is the net result after having taken into consideration:
    • Charges freeze by eight air navigation service providers (ANSPs)
    • Charges reductions by seven ANSPs
    • Charges increases by 19 ANSPs
  • The total industry cost will decrease 3.8% in 2010 despite the 2.7% increase in the unit rate. This is due to the significant 6.3% decrease in traffic projected for 2010.
  • The cost to an airline for a given number of overflight service units in 2010 is 2.7% higher than it was in 2009, or US$360 million. An overflight service unit is a function of the aircraft weight and the distance flown within the state’s airspace.

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