NEWS | Wednesday, 02 March 2008
Malta International Airport (MIA) Chief Executive Julian Jaeger, who was appointed in his post at the beginning of the year, excluded a reduction in the Maltese airport’s landing charges.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Business Today, Jaeger defended the airline charges, which had been described as “excessive” by some of the operators in the aviation business.
He said: “I don’t know to which benchmarks you are referring, but for instance we have very low landing charges.
“For an airline to land a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A-320, which are the most common aircraft at MIA with an average 170-seat capacity, it pays less than €300. And this is highly appreciated by all the legacy carriers, including Air Malta.
“I agree that at €15.73, our passenger service charge is not cheap. However, a passenger pays an average €200 for a ticket back and forth, and only 7% of that amount goes to MIA.
“The charges that are applied for the services we provide are re-invested in new or improved facilities and any cuts in charges would jeopardize investment in growth and increased capacity,” Jaeger told Business Today.
He explained that since the airport was privatised, airport charges were regulated and reflected inflation, “so in the end it’s not that we increased the airport charges tremendously.”
“MIA is a private company with around 7,000 Maltese shareholders – people who entrusted us with their savings – so on the other hand we also have an obligation towards our shareholders and therefore if we reduce the charges we would essentially devalue the money that people entrusted us with,” Jaeger told Business Today.
Asked about the success of the ‘cruise and fly’ concept promoted by MIA as a shareholder of VISET plc, whereby a tourist would fly to Malta and then board a cruise ship from here, Jaeger said: “Generally speaking, we are not fully satisfied with the outcome so far, but I personally still strongly believe that the cruise market will grow in the foreseeable future in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean.”
02 April 2008
ISSUE NO. 529