FOXTROTS  

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance. 

 

2008 March 03

IATA. Unfair on BAA.

Although IATA (the International Air Transport Association) has reacted positively to a UK-government report on BAA (which runs three London airports), it continues to criticise BAA, viz:

-“The current airport structure and regulatory system is not working. Lack of investment by the BAA airport monopoly is delivering embarrassingly-low service levels on everything from security wait-times to baggage delivery and almost everything in-between.” 

We note, however, that BAA is not a monopoly – or every airport in the world is a monopoly, by definition.

-“The regulator has failed to put in place effective incentives to deliver acceptable service levels. As a result, Heathrow is an out-of-control monopoly that gets away with pocketing a 42% margin at the expense of the 68mn beleaguered passengers using its poor facilities each year.”

-“Heathrow traffic is down 1.7% while the rest of the world is growing. The unfortunate reality is that passengers are avoiding the mess at Heathrow and this impacting the UK’s competitiveness. The UK’s unique one-bag rule must be reviewed and brought in line with global standards. And immediate further investment by Heathrow in adequate staff and equipment to handle demand is urgently needed.” 

We note, however, that Heathrow’s traffic is down partly because of capacity shortage – which will be relieved if the new terminal opens as scheduled this month. 

In general, though, we agree with IATA, although we note that expansion is easy to propose but fiendishly difficult to implement – because of local population objections to almost any airport expansion. Sometimes, of course, by the same people who then complain about an overcrowded airport.  

The Fox

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