The UK Civil Aviation Authority has recently set a new price control for NERL’s en-route services (NERL is the sole provider for en-route air traffic control in the UK). NERL has decided to put up their costs, meaning airlines will now have to pay more to fund air traffic control, which, you guessed it, means we will have to pay more money for our flights…
Why are they Raising the Price?
NERL is putting up costs to try to recover lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic when air traffic came to a halt.
Chief Economist at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Andrew Walker, has stated:
“Our decision will provide the resources and investment required for NERL to provide a resilient, high-quality service for passengers and modernise its services, while recovering costs from the pandemic.”
Impact on Passengers
It is expected that planes will now have to pay an additional 43p per passenger per flight (a 26% increase) in order to fund the UK’s air traffic control system.
Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of trade body, Airlines UK, has said:
“This is yet another kick in the teeth for passengers who have been plagued by issues this summer including the August NATS IT failure and will inevitably end up footing the bill on millions of pounds for increases that simply cannot be justified while it remains unclear what action will be taken to ensure airlines and their customers do not see a repeat of this disruption.”
Alderslade raises a significant point, that this rise in passenger costs comes in the wake of the huge travel disruptions experienced by passengers in August, wherein air traffic control failure saw many flights delayed and around 2,000 cancelled.
For more information on what caused this failure, and the steps that are being taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again, you can read NATS Major Incident Preliminary Report here.
Spending More on Holidays
It also appears that our holidays are getting more expensive as a whole, not just the flights alone. According to Finder, the average UK resident planned to spend £2,115 on holidays abroad in 2023 (including cost of accommodation, flights and spending money). This acts as a significant rise from 2022, when the estimated spend per person on holidays abroad was £1,425.
Therefore, it seems like holidays might be taking up a fair chunk of some of our budgets! This makes it all the more important to keep on top of our spending so that we have enough set aside to enjoy some time in the sun! You can use our free budget calculator to help with this by clicking here…