Israel's Civil Aviation Authority Wants to Double Charter Fees

Charter carriers say higher fees will result in higher fares for customers; agency might reconsider.

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Israel has plans to increase the fees it charges charter airlines operating in the country, possibly even doubling them, but the agency may reconsider.

Its new pricing schedule, in which fees are 20% to 100% higher, has engendered complaints from executives at the charter companies, who say they will have to pass along the cost onto their customers in the form of higher airfares.

Representatives of the charter carriers met recently with officials from the Civil Aviation Authority and voiced their concerns. The CAA representatives have said they would reexamine their plans.

Charter airlines pay the CAA landing fees that are calculated based on the number of flights the carrier operates into the country and the amount of advance notice the carriers give to announce plans to fly into Israel. Executives at foreign charter airlines say the CAA is primarily seeking to hike fees on flights for which the carriers provide less than four days of advance notice.

An official at one of the airlines said the new fee schedule was being imposed on a unilateral basis by the aviation authority.

The fees, he said, constitute one element that is taken into consideration in the fares his company charges, adding that higher fees will result in higher fares. Most European countries, he added, do not charge fees for takeoffs and landings.

The airline representative said it was particularly inappropriate for the CAA to impose the fees following the downturn since the summer’s war with Hamas.