IATA director general Willie Walsh has criticised the airline industry’s “so-called partners” for planning to increase charges during the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

“Some airports and ANSPs are seeking a solution to shore-up their finances by recovering ‘lost revenue’ from their airline customers,” he said during the IATA AGM meeting in Boston today. “You heard that correctly. Some of our so-called partners want to increase charges to recover the money that airlines could not spend with them during the crisis.”

Walsh cites examples of air-navigation service providers (ANSPs) that he claims are planning to increase their charges in the range of 30-40%, including NavCanada and those in Ethiopia and Europe.

IATA director general

Source: IATA

Regarding airports, he notes a “spate of large increases” in the USA, and further highlights Airports Company South Africa, Amsterdam Schiphol airport and London Heathrow airport as suppliers that he says are planning to raise charges.

He accuses those companies and others of “abusing their position”, saying that the airline industry “will fight back” against such moves.

“We all want to put Covid-19 behind us,” Walsh states. “But placing the financial burden of a crises of apocalyptic proportions on the back of your customers, just because you can, is a commercial strategy that only a monopoly supplier could dream up. Reducing costs – not increasing charges – must be at top of everyone’s agenda.

“That’s why I am ringing the alarm. This must stop.”