LAHORE -- Grant of excessive traffic rights to foreign carriers, heavy comparative landing charges
and taxes on air fare have ruined local aviation industry, a report of Pakistani Operators on National Aviation Policy revealed.
Airlines have expressed concerns that landing charges
could be hiked to help pay for the investment, but the airport insists the landing charges
- currently around PS22 per passenger - will remain "close to today's levels".
Section 194-I would, therefore, not apply in respect of parking or landing charges
payable to the airport authority.
That's the warning from British Airways boss Willie Walsh after regulator the Civil Aviation Authority caved in to pressure from the airport by allowing inflationmatching increases in landing charges
- currently PS20.71 per passenger - over the next five years.
The Virgin suggestion that regional airports reduce their charges is equally weak - if Birmingham as an example removed all landing charges
I suspect Virgin would not suddenly transfer their services.
The bills were for airport user charges covering parking fees for jets and landing charges
"The flights were just not being used enough and Gatwick's landing charges
are due to rise in February," an Air Southwest spokesman explained.
He said the government is pursuing open sky policy for cargo flights and passenger at Gwadar to combat the situation, adding that incentives are being given to airlines for technical landing at Karachi and Lahore by reducing landing charges
to 50 per cent.
One crucial factor in Ryanair's decision was the issue of landing charges
in Cyprus -- passed on to travellers in the form of "airport taxes" -- which have come in for industry criticism for being too high in the current economic climate.
Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson said air links were vital to the economy but that landing charges
at Heathrow airport were a key factor in airline BMI axing its Durham Tees Valley-Heathrow route.
A spokesman said: "We remain absolutely focused on weathering the current economic storm by keeping our costs down, investing wisely and supporting airlines through reduced landing charges
and direct marketing support.