2 Mar 2012

Price hike by Wellington Airport

6:52 pm on 2 March 2012

Air New Zealand says it wants to meet the Minister of Commerce over a dramatic price hike by Wellington Airport.

It says new charges being imposed will harm customers, especially those using provincial flights.

Wellington Airport raised landing fees by 78% in 2003 and now wants a 54% increase over the next five years.

It says it needs to pay for new facilities for an expected jump in passenger numbers.

But the Board of Airline Representatives says airports such as Wellington are natural monopolies, which should not be able to ramp up prices unilaterally.

A Commerce Commission review in 2010 excused airports from the strict oversight that applies to natural monopolies like electricity wires.

But it did order airports to reveal financial details, and airlines are hoping that when those come in, the Commission will recommend tougher controls.