Thursday, October 07, 2021

Private airlines seek concessions from Kolkata airport

Private airlines have sought concessions from the Kolkata airport on operational charges and office rent citing a dip in revenues.

“The Airports Authority of India will decide on the issue. We have sent the requests to the AAI headquarters,” said airport director C. Pattabhi.

The airlines have asked the airport authorities to give concessions on landing, parking and aerobridge charges as well as on office rent.

“All airlines have suffered major losses during the Covid pandemic. We are asking the airport authorities to be considerate and reduce the operational charges. If the concessions are not given, many international airlines that had temporarily stopped operations from Kolkata may not come back,” said an official of the airline operators’ committee at the airport, an organisation of airlines.

“Written requests have been sent to the airport authorities and the issue was raised at a recent meeting.”

The landing charge for a narrow-body aircraft at the airport is around Rs 82,000, while that for a wide-body aircraft is around Rs 4.5 lakh.

“In 2019, the airport authorities were charging us Rs 2,200 per square metre every month as rent for the offices. This year, the rent has been raised to Rs 3,000 per square metre. But our offices were closed for several months during the pandemic,” said an official of a private airline.

All domestic and international airlines had to cut down operations during the pandemic.

According to Kolkata airport officials, the number of flights had gone down to around 120 a day in May from more than 500 during the pre-pandemic days. The daily count has gone up to more than 250 now, said officials.

The daily passenger count has dropped to around 30,000 from about 70,000 before the pandemic.

07/10/21 Sanjay Mandal/Telegram

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