New Delhi: In a move that will make air travel more expensive, the civil aviation ministry has allowed Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd, or DIAL, to raise airport charges by 10% from Monday.
This follows a similar hike at the Mumbai airport last month. Airline firms pay a fee every time an aircraft lands at an airport, which includes landing and parking charges.
The ministry also announced on 9 February that passengers from the Indira Gandhi International Airport will have to pay a development fee—Rs200 for domestic and Rs1,300 for international travel. It has allowed DIAL to charge this fee from 1 March.
The increased airport charge will add to costs of India’s carriers that are already making losses on falling passenger numbers. As a result of the hike, passengers will now pay Rs233 each as airport service fee instead of Rs225 levied at most airports except Mumbai.
Since airport charges are levied on the weight on take-off, international flights, which are typically heavier, would have to pay more. Currently, about 300 aeroplanes land in Delhi every day.
Domestic airlines such as InterGlobe Aviation Pvt. Ltd-run IndiGo have already applied the increased passenger service fees on airfares, according to its website.
The ministry had earlier rejected a proposal to hike airport charges because it said the operator failed to upgrade a terminal building in time, said a government official on condition of anonymity. However, Mint had reported on 8 January that the ministry was likely to allow DIAL to raise airport charges by 10%.
Kapil Kaul, chief executive of aviation consultancy Centre For Asia Pacific Aviation, said that any increase will directly affect end-users. “It’s coming at a time when airlines need to manage a declining pie (shrinking passenger numbers) and cost (airfare) to passengers,” he said.