Low cost aircraft at Bergamo-Orio al Serio Airport
To persuade a low-cost airline to expand its operations in the region, one Italian airport proposed covering hotel accommodation costs for passengers affected by the airline’s flight cancellations. It is not known which item on the management company’s balance sheet ended up with this amount. It is also not clear how the costs incurred by another management company, also Italian, to “deliver” flight simulator courses to airline pilots were classified in the annual report in order to confirm some communications “for next year”.
These “benefits” are certainly not part of 334,224,420 euros in incentives for “aviation activity” to transport passengers in 2022, as recently announced by the Transport Regulatory Authority. So much so that according to the analysis courierLast year, Italian airports spent another $220 million to retain airlinesThis brings the “benefits” package to more than 550 million euros including discounts, business cooperation activities, etc. register. A small treasure, in terms of ‘flight activity’ alone, goes mostly to Ryanair (over 63%), then to Wizz and easyJet (about 15% each).
In recent weeks courier I contacted all 34 major airport management companies in Italy to obtain data on incentives: only four responded. Someone objected on grounds of confidentiality. Most of them did not respond. But cross-referencing official documents, more than two thousand pages of financial statements, communications with carriers and reports from those who know the numbers inside the companies allows us, for the first time, to present data on incentives for each individual airport (or cluster in some cases) and calculate an average The contribution of every passenger on board. With clarification: In most cases, these are private funds, there are fewer and fewer public funds.
These benefits are not illegal and if thought carefully they help in generating wealth in the area. They are based on the fact that the more companies fly to the airport and the more passengers they bring, the greater the benefits to the local economy as tourists spend money on taxi drivers, hotels, restaurants, shops, airport duty-free shops, car rentals and parking. . The 2009 European Directive gives the green light to these “incentives to launch new methods in order to promote, among other things, the development of disadvantaged and highly peripheral areas” as long as they are provided “in accordance with Community law”.
European Union request
But Brussels has repeatedly reminded us that maximum transparency is essential. Transparency does not exist – in any European country to be honest – because the agreements signed between the carrier and the airport management company are laminated. Some time ago, ETA Airways tried to request these numbers judicially from various Italian airports, but to no avail. Now as part of the Assets Decree – a decree that includes rules against high airfares – the government will introduce an amendment that addresses the issue of subsidies to managers by also imposing “maximum transparency” on the criteria that managers use to attribute them to “avoiding competitive distortions”.
Various motivational items
Contribution formulas – as has been said many times in recent years courier – They are divided into three broad categories: incentives to develop traffic for new routes or increased frequencies, discounts (full or partial) in the form of discounts or refunds on airport tariffs, and joint marketing activities to promote tourist sites through social channels of airlines. Then there are discounts for those who place more aircraft, for movement at off-peak times or periods of the year, contributions for those who do not reach the minimum fill rate, and incentives for increased transit traffic.
Incentives, if you look at the map, are provided almost everywhere in our country. But they have different purposes. For example: Milan airports (Malpensa and Linate) allocated more than $60 million in 2022 partly to recover traffic lost due to Covid, partly to increase the “portfolio” of non-stop intercontinental routes, and partly because no airline has its hub needed to stimulate traffic. the traffic. Al-Bahar finished the year with a huge profit ($182.5 million). Further east, Bergamo – which had 54 million incentives last year – has been able to rise to the top of the airport rankings in recent years thanks to the presence of Ryanair and other low-cost carriers.
In Bologna, the incentives amount to 26.5 million dollars, as for Naples Airport – as confirmed by the management company Gisac in response to a request courier — He allocated 20 million last year, almost the same amount as Palermo. In Roma (looking at Fiumicino and Ciampino) we are talking about just under 5 million, even if the estimate is 17 million euros in total incentives, while for Bari we are talking about around 15 million. Let’s go down gradually to 13.4 million from Florence and Pisa (with the same director) and 3.7 million from Trapani, the latter money allocated by regional law.
From Turin Sagat begins by saying that as a “private company” it “implements its own commercial policies.” He then explained that “incentives are recognized for companies in accordance with the traffic development policy published on our website.” But this number cannot be provided because it is “commercially sensitive and therefore confidential data.” appreciation courier Nearly 22 million. The data is “available to the Transport Regulatory Authority”, which cannot publish it because it, in turn, is bound by a confidentiality agreement with the management companies. Secrecy is also at Forlì Airport, where FA Srl explains that “the nature of agreements between private entities is regulated by precise contractual formulas inspired by mutual confidentiality.” Cross-referencing documents indicates approximately 800 thousand euros.
Contribution for each traveler
The data changes, in comparison with passengers passing through stations, the classification of incentives, i.e. the part directly attributable to traffic development costs. In Perugia, carriers received an average of €10 per passenger, just under €9 for those operating in Forli and just over €7 and a half in Rimini and Trieste. Calabria Airports – united in the same management company – offered 7 euros per passenger, while Genoa allocated almost 6 euros.
What’s new in 2024
Starting next year, and according to what we know from government departments, the Transport Regulatory Authority will require all management companies to clearly and transparently list all incentives paid in all their forms, thus indicating not only the expected amount for “flight activity”, but also for all other elements. Which may be included among the benefits. However, there is no obligation on carriers that take advantage of it. Even among the financial statements examined, Air Dolomiti – the Italian carrier of the Lufthansa Group – appears to be the only company that counts the incentives it received: 3.14 million euros in 2022.
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Opinions on Economics and Economy 6 p.m
September 22, 2023
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