Airlines for Australia and New Zealand has today spoken out against the government’s refusal to act on what it describes as “the worsening behaviour of Australia’s monopoly airports and their super-profits”.

The member-funded group which represents international, domestic, regional, full service and low-cost carriers across Australia and New Zealand is predicting “more disputes, court action and hurt in the wider Australian economy in 2020”.

The renewed anger comes following a joint statement from the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer in response to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into the Economic Regulation of Airports Final Report.

Airlines for Australia and New Zealand Chairman Professor Graeme Samuel said the Government’s acceptance that the ACCC needs to monitor the airports more shows the Government is admitting there is a problem.

“Yet they have squibbed the chance to actually do something about it for the Australian travelling public,” he said.

“This is despite the Government having a solution in front of them; the modest, evidence-based reforms proposed by the ACCC, which would see the introduction of an independent umpire to resolve disputes between airports and their customers, improving efficiency and delivering benefits to consumers and the economy,” he said.

 

These are the group’s major concerns for the next 5 years

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Image: Erik Odiin/Unsplash

• Airports continuing to slug passengers at every stage of the journey, from car parking (with 70% profit margins), $4 trolleys, outrageously expensive food and drinks, to the taxi fee (increased by nearly 300% in 2 years) or rental car surcharge.

• Airports demanding unreasonable terms in negotiations with airlines and other airport users.

• Airports profiteering from the implementation of Government-mandated security measures.

• More costly and productivity-sapping disputes between airlines and airports.

• More cases of expensive, inefficient and ineffective litigation through the courts to resolve these disputes.

 

The group is asking why should airports be protected, and consumers have to pay the price and has promised to continue to work closely with the consumer watchdog – the ACCC, other airport users and Australian travellers, towards achieving reforms.