airberlin criticises North Rhine Westphalia State Government’s decision
airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn has strongly criticised the decision taken by the State Government of North Rhine Westphalia to ban night flights at Cologne/Bonn Airport. In a statement made today Mehdorn said: “This is the wrong decision, taken at the wrong time.” He pointed out that Cologne/Bonn Airport is an important market for airberlin, especially for tourist destinations. As a result of the pressure caused by aviation tax, airberlin was already forced to reduce flights offered from Cologne last year in this price-sensitive market. The tourist market would be hit once again by the introduction of a ban on night flights. In summer 2012 this would affect 28 flights a week for airberlin – 26 departures and 2 arrivals.
“Claiming, as the NRW cabinet decision suggests, that the level of noise caused by cargo planes is acceptable but the noise caused by passenger planes, which are quieter is not shows a naive attitude to noise control” Mehdorn emphasised.
The operating licence was granted just four years ago and runs until 2030, and making this kind of change at short notice damages business, costs jobs and prevents airports and airlines from planning with confidence for the future.
Mehdorn: “Consulting expert opinions and taking the cabinet decision on the same day is unheard of in the history of policy debate and can only be put down to the election campaign in North Rhine Westphalia.”
Mehdorn is therefore asking the Federal Transport Minister, Dr. Peter Ramsauer, not to authorise the ban on night flights in Cologne/Bonn.
Source = Air Berlin