European Commission VP and Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas addressed (18-Apr-2013) the International Aviation Club on the future of transatlantic aviation and the EU-US partnership. Mr Kallas said the trans-Atlantic partnership between the EU and the US "still dominates global aviation" but has declined from a 54% of global traffic in 2008 to 44% by 2011. Mr Kallas said it "makes a lot of sense for us to work closely together because in aviation, as in other areas, we are ideologically close", adding that the bilateral aviation agreements "are clear evidence of our desire to forge stronger ties". In aviation the "most global of activities", European and US "industries and societies are so similar and interlinked that it does not make sense to impose different sets of rules." Mr Kallas commented that with Asia and the GCC as centre of growth "major European and American airlines are under pressure, particularly the legacy carriers" and Europe and the US should "should strive for even more regulatory convergence and better cooperation in international arenas such as ICAO" if they want to stay competitive. Mr Kallas said the same ambition that underpins the future EU-US free trade agreement should be carried through to transport relations, especially to aviation. [more - original PR]
European Commissioner for Transport calls for EU/US to work together to boost competitiveness
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After much delay, in late Jan-2017 the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the airport regulation document setting AENA's airport charges for the next five years. The headline numbers include a 2.2% annual decline in charges from 2017 to 2021, equivalent to an overall cut of 11% through the period.
The legal framework prevents tariff increases before 2025, but the outcome was in contrast with the Spanish airport group's own proposal to freeze charges. Strong traffic growth of 11% to an all time high level of 230 million passengers in 2016 may have influenced the regulator's decision.
In response, AENA has decided to remove an incentive mechanism which rewards airlines for traffic growth with airport charge discounts. The removal of discounts is estimated to offset the 11% reduction by one third.
In fact, this discount scheme has been quite effective in stimulating traffic growth in recent years. However, traffic growth in Spain was also boosted in 2016 by high airline capacity growth switched from other (risk) markets. Airline yield declines are probably noticeably heavier than AENA's regulated price reduction.
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