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Jeanniot: `A time for praise, but also for regret`

More than 30 airport and air navigation authorities in the USA, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have responded with great imagination to the serious…

More than 30 airport and air navigation authorities in the USA, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have responded with great imagination to the serious operational and financial difficulties faced by airlines in the wake of September 11. They deserve our praise, said IATA<.> Director General & CEO Pierre J. Jeanniot.



Jeanniot was referring to measures taken by certain airports and ATS providers to actually reduce charges and rates to airlines, at least temporarily; to defer charges increases; to increase the period for paying bills; to halt all non-essential spending and to take other measures to reduce the costs which they pass on to their prime customers, the airlines.



These service providers have shown what can be achieved, given an appreciation for the current plight of civil aviation, continued the Director General. Regrettably others – particularly certain European Air Traffic Services providers – have shown rather less imagination. They have decided that their services have an irreducible cost and are not ready to make any attempt to reduce that cost. They simply divide the cost by their notion of likely traffic and arrive at charging rates which are in some cases 20 percent higher in 2002 than those for the current year.



These service providers are exacerbating the deepening crisis facing the airlines. They include the national air traffic services providers in: Belgium with a 24% increase in the unit rate; Spain, with a 20% increase; Germany, +16%; Netherlands, +12%; Switzerland, +8%. Even the Eurocontrol Agency, that collects charges on their behalf, is set to increase its charges by 5%.



Given the current unprecedented crisis, the airline community urgently needs the understanding and the full support of governments, airports and ATS providers. Together we will come out of this crisis, better equipped to serve the needs of our customers and the wider community.

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