ACSA hikes passenger service charges


Airport tariffs are set to rise by 34,8%, effective from October 1, 2011, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) confirmed late last week.

In a statement ACSA said that it recognises the increase will have an impact on customers, but reiterated that they were “unavoidable but necessary” for the industry.

The passenger service charge (exclusive of VAT) will be:

Domestic R96,49
Regional R199,12
International R262,28

According to ACSA’s website the current tariffs are:
Domestic R59,65
Regional R124,56
International R164,04
Responding to the announcement of the increase, the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) said while ACSA's announcement that the tariff increase effective from April 1, 2011 for the year ending March 31, 2012 is 34,8% is correct, this does not reflect the full picture.
"Due to the late finalisation of the new ACSA tariffs and the fact that the effective date of the increase will be October 1, 2011, the Regulating Committee has allowed ACSA to recover the additional revenue it would have recovered from April 1, 2011 to September 30, 2011 in the six months from October 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012. Hence the actual increase on the current levels of passenger service charges, landing and parking charges will increase by just under 70% effective from October 1, 2011," said AASA in a media statement.
"AASA remains extremely concerned about this high increase. We believe it will significantly impact on the price that consumers pay for an airline ticket. For example, taking account of this increase it is estimated that for travel on a B737-800 to Durban, the total costs payable to ACSA would approximate R150 per passenger per sector. Taking account of some very low fares being offered in the market, some as low as R300 per flight, these ACSA-related charges comprise nearly 50% of the price of the ticket.
AASA says its likely that airlines will have no option but to recover these increases costs from their passengers, or absorb them thereby reducing their extremely thin margins. "These increases will in all likelihood impact growth and development of tourism and travel in general, which works contrary to the government's stated objective of increasing both domestic and international tourism to South Africa."

The Department of Transport on Thursday said that it will review Acsa’s economic regulatory framework within the next six months, to create “predictable, transparent and balanced tariff determinations in future.” (See story headlines: AASA: ACSA tariff increase actually 70% and DoT develops ‘road map’ for air transport bodies)

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