National airport management company ANA Airports of Portugal announced on December 1 that traffic, passenger handling and baggage handling charges in force at Lisbon airport had been adjusted by 4.4%, an increase that it says will have an estimated impact on passengers of around €380,000.
The tax hike follows an increase of 4.37% in June and means that overall airport charges leveled at consumers have risen by 8.77% over the past six months.
According to a statement posted on its website, ANA has justified the rise with the fact that Lisbon Airport had registered “a better than expected traffic performance” which translates as a 4.2% upturn in the first six months of 2013 over the same period last year.
Given this surprise jump in figures over the first half of the year – and in accordance with the pattern of economic regulation – the company had “authorised an increase of two cêntimos per passenger”, adding that the move would impact clients to the tune of nearly €380,000, the statement read.
ANA had warned of the tax increase as early as August after adopting the model of economic regulation earlier this year, which it says is based on the “principal of sharing traffic risk between airline companies”.
In this context, the regulatory economic model authorises ANA to revise upwards passenger taxation during periods of increased traffic, when numbers surpass “levels of expectation”. Similarly, when traffic growth is lower than predicted, the company is expected to reduce the regulatory tax burden on passengers.
This latest tax increase has alarmed national carrier TAP PR spokesman António Monteiro, who said during an interview with national radio TSF that the hike could affect growth in passenger numbers passing through Lisbon.
Paulo Brehm of APAVT, the Portuguese Travel Agency Association, also speaking to TSF, was equally concerned and commented that the decision was detrimental to Lisbon Airport’s reputation as a growing international hub.
TAP’s spokesman, meanwhile, added that the airline would do everything it could in order not to raise ticket prices but said it was impossible to give such a guarantee at present.