2 Jul 2013

IATA head criticises NZ airport charges

7:49 pm on 2 July 2013

The head of the world airline body has criticised the New Zealand Government for letting infrastructure providers like airports get away with overcharging.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief executive Tony Tyler said the Government's infrastructure regulations are too lighthanded.

Speaking at a trade event in Auckland on Tuesday, Mr Tyler said the Commerce Commission found Wellington Airport was charging too much but has no teeth to do anything about it.

He said Airways New Zealand will raise fees by nearly 16% over the next three years, a heavy-handed decision by an infrastructure provider in a monopoly position that will create big problems for airlines.

Mr Tyler said under prevailing legislation airports are free to price however they like, and warned of consequences if the Government does not step in.

"You won't get the same number of flights, you won't get the same degree of competition for the consumer, the consumer's going to have to pay more."

Mr Tyler said the Government should bring in a system which forces consultation and agreement with airlines.