Europe’s aviation system is unable to cope with the strong growth of today and new partnerships need to be formed to meet rising demand now and in the future, delegates at ACI’s General Assembly heard today.
That is the view of Lufthansa chief executive officer, Carsten Spohr who was speaking in a keynote address at the airport event in Brussels, which is taking place from 18-20 June.
He said airlines and airports need to work together more in the future, adding: “We need to forms partnerships between airlines and airports and as an industry we need to rethink the way we work together.”
Spohr identified three areas where there needs to be work: firstly there needs to be a focus on the traditional commercial relationship such as fees, and charges; secondly on day-to-day operational issues; and lastly develop new forms of partnership and cooperation.
On capacity crunch issues which many of Europe’s main hub airports are contending with he said airlines and airports should make better use of the capacity that they have before expanding further.
“We need a new a way of from the classic battle for profits and money and we should be bound by common goals – the primary goal must be in making sure the highest quality is achieved for our joint customers (passengers),” Spohr said.
He urged airports to invest in and make better use of technology and said the Lufthansa Group is receiving a new aircraft into its fleet every week, but it still has to use technology on the ground from the 80s at airports.
“We must embrace the opportunities that technology brings and not look at the past and we need new models of cooperation and partnership,” Spohr said.
In his opinion airports where there is a part-private investment has worked especially where airlines have invested at an airport, like how Lufthansa has used its own terminal at Munich Airport which has been a big success, but he said there has to be a value for both the airlines and airports in any investments.
“The right approach has to be a cooperative one. It is time to revitalise the relationship between airlines and airports,” Spohr said.
He concluded: “We as airlines think you have the better deal, and airports believe we (airlines) have the better deal as we are ‘more sexy’. It is not about profits and it is about our joint futures.”