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Airport pricing gets ministers’ attention

Media Release August 1 2014

Airport pricing gets ministers’ attention

Airport pricing is now under ministerial microscopes.

John Beckett, executive director of BARNZ (the Board of Airline Representatives NZ), says that is exactly where airport landing charges and terminal charges should be examined.

“Airports in New Zealand are currently free to charge airlines as they see fit, despite the fact that they have monopoly positions,” Mr Beckett says. “That is not the case in most developed countries."

“A recently concluded review by the Commerce Commission covering Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Airports showed the real need for regulatory teeth for airport pricing. The Commission concluded that both Wellington and Christchurch Airports were targeting excessive profits. An examination of the effectiveness of information disclosure regulation for major international airports has been initiated in consultation papers by the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) released today. BARNZ welcomes the review and is confident that it will conclude that regulatory change is required to protect consumers from excessive prices in the future. A negotiate/arbitrate process that would be ideal for airports is already contained in the Commerce Act framework.

Mr Beckett says travellers are affected by what airlines get charged by airports because the costs get reflected in ticket prices. “The current New Zealand regime is extraordinarily light handed,” Mr Beckett says. “It is time we adopted international best practice."


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