BARIG, The Board of Airline Representatives in Germany in its last Executive Meeting in Frankfurt has complained that Frankfurt airport does not give their airline clients enough support and backing. The complaint stems from the recent decision by Fraport to increase aircraft handling charges at the airport.
A sore point for the carriers landing and taking off from the largest German airport.
The more than 100 airline managers who are members within BARIG are extremely annoyed at the fact that Fraport will increase charges again as of January 2016.
Fraport’s profits go up, the airlines’ margins remain low
They claim that this is the eighth increase within the past six years and that charges have risen by an enormous 39 percent in that period.
What also annoys the carriers is the fact that Fraport has in their view increased their profit margin by 13.1 percent, whereby the airlines continue to suffer under ever increasing costs and dwindling profit margins.
The new increases in Infrastructure Charges will also be borne by all cargo carriers operating into and out of FRA.
Airlines up retail revenues
A logical consequence may be that the airlines will see themselves forced to try and recoup some of the extra charges by squeezing their passenger, ramp or cargo handlers even further on what they themselves want to pay for services rendered.
The BARIG members state that Fraport has profited considerably from the carriers on the retail side where they (the airlines) bring an ever increasing amount of transit passengers through the airport who in their view contribute increased revenues in the airport retail shops.
Will Fraport react to the Barig complaints?
It is not clear as to whether the Fraport managers will let themselves be brought into a discussion with the carriers in order to put off or lower the planned introduction of new charges as of January next year.
Many of these carriers, be they all cargo operators or passenger airlines, really have nowhere else to turn to.
Munich has been plying for some of the Frankfurt bound trade for many years, but have also been good in creating their own south German market niche.
Cargo carriers will in our view be affected the most
Revenues are still way below that of what they should be and profits on all cargo flights, with the exception of the likes of DHL and Fedex, are for many still a dream.
A further increase will push the figures even further downwards and so maybe give some the final push to actually consider deviating to Amsterdam, Cologne or even Munich.
It can only be hoped that both BARIG and Fraport can reach an agreement in the coming months.
John Mc Donagh