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New Europe airline alliance calls for cut in airport charges

BA heathrowThe newly inaugurated Airlines for Europe (A4E) has got straight down to business by demanding a cut in the airport fees passengers pay. Air France-KLM is one of the five members of A4E and its CEO says passengers using Europe’s 10 busiest airports pay 90 per cent more in service fees and taxes than they did a decade ago.

Alexandre de Juniac cited a recently conducted study of airline ticket prices and compared the high charges with the fact that average fares have dropped 20 per cent over the same period. He claimed the sky-high charges meant airports had reaped €5.4 billion (£4.1 billion) over the 10-year period.

Other A4E members are the International Airline Group (IAG), Lufthansa, Ryanair and EasyJet. British Airways and Iberia are both IAG subsidiaries. Willie Walsh is IAG’s CEO and he said A4E had been formed to represent the interests of European airlines and passengers.

A4E released a joint statement alleging that passengers flying in Europe were being ripped off by excessive and unreasonable fees and service taxes. The statement also said the partnership would be pressing for changes to the EU’s aviation systems and would be dealing with all the EU agencies as well as international ones on the changes.  

IAG boss Walsh said the EU needed reforming because in areas like air traffic control Europe was very inefficient. He explained that carriers burnt 12 per cent more jet-fuel on each flight than they needed to. He finished off by saying he was in favour of the EU, but due to its inefficiency it was not good at sorting out things that it should.

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