Airports set to suffer alongside airlines
Thursday, January 22, 2009: With many airlines making capacity cuts, airports should brace themselves for a tough year as fewer passengers will step through their doors, warns the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).
Aviation analysts at CAPA note that while most airports hold a monopoly on their parts of the world, there’s not much that can be done to adapt to rapidly changing environments as most investments must be made for the long term.
“[Airports] have little power to influence events or to make major adaptations to their operating regime,” says CAPA.
“This can result in a need to increase charges, especially where long-term capital projects may be jeopardised... Performance among airports will vary in this environment, but almost all will see downturns as tourism and business travel slows.”
CAPA notes that it is small airports which will be hurt the most, as they depend more on travellers flying for discretionary purposes – which are generally the routes that airlines cut the quickest.
With less passengers travelling through the infrastructure, airport revenue is expected to drop across the board, from retail to services.? This is likely to lead to airports seeking to increase airport charges.
As such CAPA predicts that conflict between airlines and airports are sure to arise again as both parties try to the upper hand in cost savings.