Passengers, Airlines fume at New Airport Charges

Mumbai: India’s airports—both government-run and privately operated—have become more expensive for both airlines and passengers, who are fuming over new charges imposed for the use of infrastructure and to raise funds for future development. Some of the new levies are directly charged to passengers and others to airlines, which in turn pass on the extra costs to fliers.
The latest is a 10% increase in airport charges levied from 1 March at 84 state-owned airports following a 27 February directive from the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
This came on the heels of a 10% increase in airport charges by private operators in Mumbai and Delhi.
The new levies come at a time when loss-making airlines are already struggling with high operating costs and declining passenger traffic in an economy headed for its slowest pace of growth in six years.
Domestic passenger traffic fell by about a sixth from a year ago in the peak October-January season. Airlines are expected to post combined losses of $2 billion this fiscal.
Airport charges are typically for use of route navigation and terminal navigation facilities, and landing, parking and housing, and baggage X-Ray, among other things.
Though airport charges will be paid by airlines, the hike will increase the passenger service fee on tickets to Rs233 from Rs225.
On 16 February, the Hyderabad airport developer charged passengers Rs70 per head for using aero bridges, which connect the boarding gate to the aircraft door. Those who don’t use the bridges are charged Rs48. Such charges are known as common infrastructure charges.
The new Bengaluru International airport charges a user development fee, or UDF, of Rs260 per domestic passenger and Rs1,070 per international passenger. At the new Hyderabad airport, the fee is Rs375 and Rs1,000, respectively.
04/03/09 P.R. Sanjai/Livemint

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~ by anand213 on March 5, 2009.

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