The International Air Carrier Association (IACA) is stepping up its campaign against an increase in airport charges at two Cypriot airports.

IACA says the manager of Larnaca and Phapos airports, Hermes, plans to increase charges by 70% per passenger this year. The increases will be implemented in stages in April, July and November and cover handling, security, fuel throughput and fire services.

"These charges and fees fly in the face of the standards set by the aviation industry on charges and raise some serious questions about the transparency of the government," says IACA director general Sylviane Lust. "IACA and its members would like to know how the government is intending to use the money gained from the concession fee but so far our requests for an explanation have been ignored."

IACA represents 39 leisure carriers, many of which serve Cyprus. It says charges at Cyprus are at least twice as high as at other airports in the Mediterranean that rely heavily on leisure traffic. The association is asking Hermes, which began managing the Larnaca and Phapos airports in May 2006, to reconsider the increases. "Cyprus is in danger of pricing itself out of the market and [damaging] the country's tourism industry," it says.

Source: Airline Business