BARIN Chairman New Year’s Address 2010 by Huib Gorter at the BARIN New Year Gathering at the HILTON Schiphol on 15 Jan. 2010
Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen
The airline and travel related industries tend to be populated by individuals who are optimistic and confident by nature.
Why is this and why must it be so
– our business is cyclical
– fuel price volatility
– high investment cost
– fragility in customer behaviour in times of economic upheaval
– time lapse between aircraft ordering and final delivery
– taxation measures that can undermine our proposition and scare passengers away.
At this time last year we were extremely vocal in our resistance to the ‘vliegtax’. One should also be vocal in-so-far as complimenting the government on its retraction of the tax in, life it is not about being right but it is about doing the right things.
I would like to talk about the Customer
– era of unfulfilled promises to customers is long past us all
– any self respecting carrier places the customer first, treats him with respect and provides him the service he deserves
– aside from the fact that providing good customer service can be the singularly most satisfying activity a human being can do for another.
Should a customer not be given the service he deserves within the context of EU ruling 261 there is now a geschillencommissie luchtvaart.
We as BARIN have been and will continue to be supportive of the self-regulating arbitration instrument the ‘geschillencommissie’.
We wish to thank the parties who have worked hard with us towards getting this off the ground. We do however believe in the principle of the level playing field within Europe in respect to arbitration and we are pleased that our special guest, minister Eurlings shares this view and has undertaken to take this up in the European arena.
For those airlines who are non-BARIN-member airline, I seek their co-operation to uphold and abide by the principles of the ADRA or geschillencommissie luchtvaart.
I now would like to touch upon another issue relating to the customer, his well being and rights in respect to EU ruling 261 and more expliciti the provisional ruling of 19th of November.
It is not the occasion to enter into the legal aspects however we are questioning that a court can sit on the seat of the legislator and rewrite legislation even if that legislation in itself was poorly crafted at the time.
Possible consequences of the ruling
– additional Euro 3-5 billion costs to the industry
– the Customer will ultimately have to pay the price whether it be through fare increases or schedule reduction of airlines.
The industry is examining the legal options open to us and we are of the view that there should be single European approach and not nationally divergent. The Minister supports this view and this will be tabled in Brussels in February.
As BARIN we strive to have a transparent open relationship with Schiphol.
We are of the view that this is steadily evolving, SPL was required to reduce cost and that they are doing. Airport charges were frozen effective 01 April.
Airlines would have been elated if fares would have remained frozen since the economic down-turn if so we would notbe collectively moving towards, a collective worldwide Euro 8billion loss, we as airlines still seek reductions in charges.
Schiphol is a good airport whatever some ill informed English tabloid journalist may write, it is a modern facility that ultimately provides the right infrastructure for us to operate in.
We are heartened that Schiphol wishes to position itself as preferred airport. The wheels have been set in motion to achieve this.
We as customers are keen to see these ambitions become reality.
In the eyes of the customer being a preferred airport is not only offering the service and facilities to passengers/customers but also preferred to those other customers namely airlines (whether Cargo or Passengers) we are committed to work together with Schiphol to work professionally towards them achieving their goal
I started off my speech by stating that if one is not an optimist one should not be in our industry, lets look at the bright side
– early signs of Economic recovery are there
– the network at Schiphol is expected to remain intact
– (facetitiously) fuel is going up which can be good news for those who have hedged
– security scans will be coming
– cargo is picking up
– many airlines have become lean + mean and geared for the future
– an airport committed to reducing cost and becoming the preferred airport
– finally we see a Customer who is returning to travel and ship his goods and
that what its all about ‘The Customer’
In closing I wish to thank you all for being here. thank my fellow board members who have never failed us and I wish to thank Minister Eurlings for being here and I now invite him to this rostrum
➡ Click on: Photo Impression BARIN New Year Gathering 2010
❗ Click on: PHOTO’s for Tycho’s Eye photo impression of this BARIN New Year Event ➡ ➡