The Airport Charges landscape in early 2021

Feb 09, 2021

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As the year gets going and the updates roll in, we take a quick look at some of the main headlines so far and how the global events of 2020 continue to impact airport charges into 2021.

Many of the COVID-19 related discounts and deferrals of last year appear to be coming to an end, with a number of airports (including the Avinor, Swedavia, Finavia, ANA and DHMI operator groups), instead opting to hold their rates broadly flat this year whilst incentivising the return of traffic. For some, though, it's business as usual, and our research team has been able to capture the normal flurry of new year updates.

Last month we researched 1,680 airport charges, navigation fees, government taxes and incentive items from around the world, with 594 reporting an increase or changes their charges in 2021.

Global coverage of research activities in January

Below is a round-up of some of the updates and announcements we've come across so far.

Visit Airport Charges to find out how to get full breakdowns and details on which airports have increased their charges in 2021.

  • (BRU) Brussels Airport - BCAA charge increases for the first time in 4 years, by 5%
  • (CDG) Paris CDG – all charges slightly up from April
  • (CPH) Copenhagen Airport – Runway, Passenger Infrastructure charges all up slightly, Terminal Navigation down
  • (GVA) Geneva Airport – Runway, Passenger, Security charges all significantly higher from July
  • (LHR) London - Heathrow Airport – PRM, Baggage, Check-in & CUSS charges all increased
  • (PRG) Václav Havel Airport Prague – Passenger, PRM, Boarding Bridge charges all significantly higher
  • (WAW) Warsaw - Frederic Chopin Airport - PRM charge increased
  • (ORD) Chicago - O'Hare International Airport – Landing, Infrastructure charges reduced
  • (IAD) Washington - Dulles International Airport - Landing fees reduced
  • (MEX) Mexico City Juarez International – International Airport Use, Boarding Bridge charges slightly increased
  • (YUL) Montreal - Pierre Elliott Trudeau International – Landing and infrastructure charges increased, AIF significantly higher
  • (YYZ) Toronto Pearson – All charges increased, AIF significantly higher
  • (SYD) Sydney - Kingsford Smith Airport - Passenger charges increased

For those airports where it is business as usual despite the pandemic, charges have generally moved upwards by small percentages to counter any inflationary effects. Those charges that are going up in 2021 disproportionately fall on passengers rather than operators, and this is especially true in Europe and Canada; look out for improvements at Canadian airports, as the Airport Improvement Fee at many of them is on the rise. In Europe, PRM charges are on the up at many airports, with government taxes up in the Netherlands and Sweden but still suspended in Norway. In the US, large airports such as Chicago and Washington have announced significant reductions in operator charges, but Miami, Pittsburgh and Seattle all see infrastructure charges in particular head the other way.

Further afield, Australian passengers should brace for higher charges when air travel returns, with passenger charges up significantly at both Brisbane and Sydney, though Melbourne has kept things steady.

Also worth keeping an eye on navigation charges too, with many European airports seeing an increase in their terminal navigation charges. Charges across Germany and Poland have increased, while both London Heathrow and Stockholm have also seen terminal navigation charges climb.

Gareth Kitching

Author

Gareth Kitching
Head of R&D

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