International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief executive and director general Alexandre de Juniac says the privatisation of airports around the world by governments often seeking a short-term boost to the budget has proven to be a failure.

Speaking to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) assembly of presidents in Taipei, de Juniac said airports “perform better in public hands”.

“That is the conclusion of three decades of largely disappointing experiences with airport privatisation,” he said in his speech on October 25.

“The primary focus of airports should be to support local and national prosperity as an economic catalyst,” de Juniac stated.

“But in private hands, shareholder returns take top priority. And we struggle with costs at privatized airports as far flung as Paris, Sydney and Santiago.”