Mumbai: New Delhi’s airport charges are not the highest in the world in any segment, except for long-haul international flights in wide-body planes, its operator has claimed, quoting a consultancy report.
The GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) had demanded a 774% increase in airport charges and engaged consultancy firm LeighFisher India Pvt. Ltd to examine how the rates compared with other top airports.
The Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) eventually approved an increase of 345%, effective 15 May, a move criticised by airline firms and passengers.
The airport charges of Indian airports did not increase in the past 10 years, except by a nominal 10% in 2009, said the report by LeighFisher, formerly known as Jacobs Consultancy. Mint has seen a copy of the report.
The LeighFisher report said charges for domestic passengers at the Delhi airport, after the fee revision, continue to be the lowest among competitors across the globe. The domestic segment represents over 69% of the total passengers travelling from the airport.
“For long-haul and medium-haul international services, charges will be very high and this will mean that DIAL’s charges for these service categories will be among the highest in the world,” said the report released today. “This will inevitably draw criticism from the International Air Transport Association (Iata) and some international airlines, but it is important to view these increases in their proper perspective in terms of the relatively small proportion of DIAL’s operations and passengers who will be affected.”
In April, Albert Tjoeng, assistant director, corporate communications, Asia Pacific, at Iata, which represents some 240 airlines comprising 84% of the total air traffic, had said this 345% charges will make Delhi the world’s most expensive airport. “It will also have a larger impact on India and its economy, with an expected 5-8% decrease in demand at Delhi as a result of higher costs, a fall in tourist arrivals and further damage to local and international airline connectivity,” Tjoeng had said. “This is a big step backwards for Delhi’s ambition to be an aviation hub.”
The LeighFisher report comes at a time when Dial’s partner Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, commonly known as Fraport, plans to sell its 10% stake in DIAL, company officials said on last week.