(GENEVA) “Singapore-Changi International Airport`s 30% rebate in landing charges and 10% rebate on rent charges to assist the aviation industry during the worst crisis in its history once again shows its leadership among the world`s airports,” commented IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.
The announced rebates will be in effect from 1 May until 31 December 2003 are in addition to the 15% reductions in landing and rental charges announced in November 2002 as part of the Singapore Air Hub Development Fund.
“The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has hit aviation with a full body blow on top of our struggle to cope with the aftermath of the Iraq war and a global economic slowdown,” said Bisignani. “The cooperation of Changi at this most difficult moment should be an example for other airports. As passenger numbers decline, particularly in Asia-Pacific, reigning in costs is essential for the survival of the industry. Changi`s prudent and timely response should be the model for all of our airport and ATS providers.”
Prior to the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq, IATA launched a campaign to urge airports to contain and reduce costs, just as their airline customers would be required to do in light of a projected 15-20% drop in passenger numbers. With the outbreak of SARS, IATA intensified it lobbying efforts with requests for reductions. In addition to Changi, Chiang Kai Shek International Airport in Chinese Taipei, Dubai International Airport, Cyprus, Athens, Melbourne, Brisbane and others responded positively to IATA`s requests.
The severe drop in traffic at many airports in Asia-Pacific has seen extensive flight cancellations. “Our biggest challenge is to maintain service without hemorrhaging red ink. Changi`s decision recognizes this and displays the spirit of partnership that will be key to recovery,” concluded Bisignani.
“Surely this is the time for Tokyo`s Narita airport to also give something back to the industry that supports it. Narita should be challenged to contribute to industry recovery in the same way as its counterparts in Asia have already done. IATA and its Member airlines would like to see Narita follow the example set by Changi and reduce immediately and significantly its landing fees.” said Bisignani.