New Delhi: In a move that will make air travel more expensive, the civil aviation ministry has allowed Bangalore International Airport Ltd, or Bial, and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Pvt. Ltd, or Ghial, to raise airport charges by 10% from 1 July.
The move follows a similar increase at the Mumbai and Delhi airports and Airports Authority of India-run facilities across the country earlier this year.
Bial and Ghial, both privately operated, already charge passengers a hefty fee introduced last year. Banaglaore airport charges Rs260 per domestic passenger and Rs1,070 per international passenger, while Hyderabad airport charges Rs375 and Rs1,000, respectively.
Costly affair: A file photo of the Bengaluru International Airport. Hemant Mishra / Mint
“We have increased the fee by 10% for Bial and Ghial following the increases in other airports,” said a civil aviation ministry official who didn’t want to be named. A second government official, who too didn’t want to be named, confirmed the hike.
All other airports were allowed to charge more to soften the impact of a slowdown in air passenger traffic that left Indian carriers with combined losses estimated at $2 billion in the last fiscal. Airlines also pay a fee every time an aircraft lands at an airport, which includes landing and parking charges.
A request by Bial and Ghial to increase airport charges had been kept pending. An analyst said the decision to allow a similar increase for both airports had been expected.
The government should put a regulator in place quickly to manage airport tariffs, added Kapil Kaul, India chief executive of aviation consultancy Centre For Asia Pacific Aviation.
“Government doesn’t have the structure to define airport charges. Obviously, no one is excited about the way prices are structured now,” Kaul said.
An Airports Economic Regulatory Authority has already been formed but is so far only a one-member body. Key positions including technical staff are still to be cleared by the government.