At issue is a complaint lodged with the European Commission on 4 October by the airlines for Europe (A4E) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), following the concession contract of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal to the French company Da Vinci.
In the complaint, reported by the newspaper Expresso, the associations denounce that airlines and passengers in Portugal have paid at least 30% more fees than they should, which increases travel costs and weakens the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy.
However, ACI Europe argued in a document sent on Friday to the European Commission, to which Lusa had access, that this claim is "false" and without foundation.
"Relevant facts and figures show unequivocally that, since the start of the concession, airport charges at Lisbon airport have allowed significant growth in passenger traffic and in air connectivity," reads the document to which Lusa had access.
According to the document, sent with the knowledge of the Prime Minister, António Costa, the Minister of Planning and Infrastructures, Pedro Marques, the permanent representative of Portugal in the European Union, Nuno Brito, and the European Commissioners Violetta Bulc and Pierre Moscovici , passenger traffic at Lisbon airport grew 67% between 2013 and 2017, while direct connections rose 51.3% between 2013 and 2018.
"It should also be noted that, thanks to ANA's competitive airport rates and its proactive route development strategy, including a dynamic policy of encouraging airlines to develop new routes and sustained traffic growth, Portugal performance in the European Union in terms of connectivity, "he said.