IATA sees French Government in court

Giovanni Bisignani slipped the revelation that the world’s airlines have taken none other than the French Government to court on page 5 of his recent speech to the UK‘s Aviation Club.

This piece of remarkable news was somewhat buried in a typically robust plea for more efficiency from suppliers and states alike. However, buried or not, it demonstrates an escalation in IATA’s efforts to deal with what it sees are injustices when it comes to airport charges.


With the tacit backing of Air France, IATA’s legal action is aimed at proving that the French Government’s decision to allow Aeroports de Paris (ADP), which runs the Paris airports system, to raise charges by 5% per year for the next five years should be annulled. It is the first time the airline association has taken legal action against a national government.

Bisignani (above) is scathing about the charges imposed recently by ADP‘s Charles de Gaulle hub. It is currently IATA’s “worst offender” having increased fees by 26.5% in the last five years, he said. “What businesses other than an un-regulated monopoly can plan such increases,” he said.

After its recent lobbying to the European Commission about strengthening airport regulation on the charges front IATA felt it had little option but to challenge the French fee increase.

IATA wants regulations that take the politics out of airport management. It also wants it to ensure stakeholder engagement. “If we pay the bill, we need to have a say in what is being bought…at what price…and agree how it is financed,” said Bisignani.

Finally it wants regulation that acts as a substitute for competition. Bisignani said he expects some follow up from the EC in the coming months.

The stakes are clearly rising in the feud between airlines and airports on the charges front.

One Response to IATA sees French Government in court

  1. Anita Dick 31 May, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    In the beginning just remember it was darked and then someone smiled! try this:

    “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.” — Conan O’Brien :)

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