Monday, March 27, 2017

Airfares set to rise as Centre hikes airport charges

Airfares are set to go up as the government has decided to raise airport charges across all non-major airports operated by Airports Authority of India (AAI) by 5% every year beginning April 1.

This is the second time the government has raise airport charges in the last five months.

The passenger service fee, which is charged as a part of air ticket fare, will increase from ₹85 per passenger at present to ₹89 in 2017-18.

The fee will subsequently be increased to ₹93 in 2018-19 and ₹98 per passenger in 2019-20, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, following the Civil Aviation Ministry’s decision on March 15.

The raise in fares will be applicable on non-major airports such as Amritsar, Nagpur, Bagdogra, Madurai, Vijayawada, Jammu, Vadadora, among others, which handle an annual traffic of less than 15 lakh.

Besides, the user development fee at Amritsar, Udaipur, Trichy and Varanasi airports have been raised from ₹165 at present to ₹173 in 2017-18.

A passenger service fee is charged by the airport operator for providing services such as baggage trolleys, escalators, air conditioning at airport terminals, conveyor belt systems for baggage, wi-fi systems, public address systems and other facilities.

The civil aviation ministry has also increased landing, parking and route navigation charges at all AAI airports by 5% every year to be paid by airlines which may likely pass the cost burden on to the customers. This comes after the Centre had increased the airport charges at AAI airports by about 10%from December-March this financial year.
27/03/17 Somesh Jha/The Hindu