Australian airport service ratings improve

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane airports all received an overall weighted rating of ‘good’ for their quality of service in 2015-16, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual Airport Monitoring Report.

The report found that both Brisbane and Perth airports were rated equal highest of the monitored airports within the ‘good’ category. These overall ratings are drawn from survey results (both airlines and passengers) and objective indicators.

“It is encouraging to see that all four airports made it into the “good” category for overall quality of service ratings this year, in addition to a second straight year of notable improvement by Perth Airport,” ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, said.

“However, there is still room for the airports to better satisfy both passengers and airlines.”

The report also found that the airports are collecting substantially more aeronautical revenue per passenger than a decade ago. The higher average aeronautical charges have been used to both cover increasing costs per passenger and to grow profit margins.

“The ACCC estimates that over the past decade, these airports have collected $1.57 billion more in revenue from airlines than they would otherwise have collected if average prices were held constant in real terms,” Mr Sims said.

“Despite these much higher revenues per passenger, ratings of service quality are not materially different from those seen a decade ago.”

The report also found that a combination of higher access charges and passenger growth had grown airport revenues from landside operators such as taxis, buses and off-airport carpark operators.

“Airports set the terms and prices to landside areas. This means that they are in a position to impede competition to on-airport car parking by increasing access costs for alternatives such as off-airport car park operators,” Mr Sims said.

Strong international passenger numbers drove overall airport passenger growth by 3.4 per cent. More than a third of the growth in international visitors was due to passenger growth from China.

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