Meeting of the airports coordination committee at Son Sant Joan today. | Miquel A. Cañellas


Marc Pons, the regional transport minister, has called for a 2.6% reduction in airport charges for the next five years. He made this demand at today's meeting of the committee for Balearic airport coordination in Palma. The national ministry for development has already proposed that the taxes are frozen from this year until 2021.

Pons argued that a lowering of charges would benefit consumers by reducing the final prices of tickets, would improve Balearic competitiveness as a tourist destination and would promote additional traffic. This would result, he said, in more economic activity and more jobs. For the regional government, the airports should serve a purpose above maximising Aena shareholder returns; they should be at the service of social and economic development in the Balearics.

Even so, as Pons pointed out, independent financial analyses (from banks and analysts) suggest that Aena would still be able to guarantee returns to its shareholders above those from other airport operators. The National Markets and Competition Commission has also recommended a cut, one of 2.02%, which it says would boost airport competitiveness but still guarantee the sustainability of the Aena network.