Many, especially the UK carriers, have for years been lobbying for the complete opposite in order to help stimulate more air traffic, but yesterday's announcement is being seen by some airlines as a gamble by the Spanish government and one which could back fire.
The draft State Budget for 2012 includes an increase in airport taxes of around 19% on average.
The Association of Spanish Air Transport Companies (ACETA), the Airlines Association ALA and Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (Aena) put the rise in airport charges at 18.9% on average across Spanish airports, although the latter notes that the rate of air navigation route will drop by 7.5%.
Palma tax hikes
The global impact of these increases on passengers will equate to about a 10% price rise, airport operators explained.
At Alicante, Gran Canaria, Málaga, Costa del Sol, Tenerife and here in Palma, passenger taxes for routes within the European Economic Area routes go from 5.70 to 5.99 and from 8.60 to 9.03 for long-haul routes.
Aena sources have stressed that Spanish airport fees are 43.5% cheaper than the European average. They also explained that Aena recovered only 63.5% of its costs in 2011 and that the purpose of tax increases is improve this recovery rate.
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