Tuesday 25 February 2014

Airport Fees unchanged despite decline in passengers.

At the recent meeting of the IOS Council Transport Committee is was decided not to increase airport fees for St Mary's Airport despite the Airport relying on fees for 90% of its income and passenger numbers undershooting projections for 2013 by 17% (projected passenger total 108,000, actual 90,000).

Fees were increased steeply in 2013 and are a significant component of the price of air tickets, especially on the Lands End - St Mary's route.

Cllr Robert Dorrien Smith led calls to reject a proposal for a 3% landing fee rise. He felt the UK economy was improving and efforts had been made to promote Scilly by the Islands’ Partnership, to arrest 11 years of decline.

Read a fuller account of the Committee's discussions at Scilly Today here and also the 'comments' on this news item. 


See here statistics assembled by FRIST (from IOS Council sources in the main) which highlighted the decline in travellers to the IOS and the price of travel. between 2002 and 2014.

When considering the increase is travel costs over the years it is necessary to take account of inflation and the decline in the value of money.

The CPI index has risen 32.2% and the RPI index has risen 49.1% over the period 2002 to 2013. The Lands End one way fare has risen 68.4% and the Newquay fare 75.4%. No matter which index you believe best reflects reality, the result is that the real cost of travel to the islands by air has increased substantially in real terms (between 19 and 33% depending on index used and route considered).

The increase in the cost of travel on the Scillonian over the period is 30.5% which means the cost has stayed broadly the same (slight decrease) in real terms using the CPI index or dropped by £4.10 each way if using the RPI index.
These statistics were provided to members of the Transport Committee just prior to their last meeting.  Affordable, reliable all around travel services between the islands and the mainland are key to the survival of the island economy and the community in its current form.  No solution is in sight and the existential nature of the problem for islanders remains 'off the agenda'.
If you have any questions then email Visitor Voice at frist.hub@gmail.com or add a comment to this post. FRIST's Visitor Voice will respond in due course.

Note on Prices. The figures used for 2014 reflect the price of tickets for the majority of travellers (~85+%) and not the headline figures which are available only in restricted circumstances.

Note on Inflation. The CPI index has risen from 95.4 (2002) to 126.1 (2013). The RPI index has risen from 176.2 (2002) to 250.1 (2013).

No comments:

Post a Comment