According to a Reuters report today (Oct. 26), airlines are pushing back at British aviation authorities for increases in charges for air traffic control services. NATS, the provider of air traffic control services in the UK, claims the increases are meant to recoup costs incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NATS is under fire for a late-summer outage that caused thousands of flight cancellations and delays, costing airlines millions, according to Reuters, a British news service. According to Reuters, Airlines U.K., an industry trade-advocacy group, said NATS price increases “simply cannot be justified while it remains unclear what action will be taken to ensure airlines and their customers do not see a repeat of this disruption.”
Jonathan Hinkles, chief executive of British carrier Loganair, said in a LinkedIn post, “The expectation was that charges for 2024 would go back to normalized levels, plus inflation. Unfortunately, something’s gone badly wrong.” According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the new prices “would ensure quality of service and safety.”
But the consortium Airlines for Europe, which includes British Airways’ parent company and budget carrier Ryanair, told Reuters, “Raising prices after a monumental meltdown last summer is the very definition of rewarding failure.”