The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority
(AERA) on Wednesday fixed a higher user development fee (UDF) for domestic and international passengers, setting the ground for a massive hike in airfares
for those flying in and out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
The AERA has also decided to raise the airport and navigational charges at the IGIA by a whopping 346 per cent for two years, beginning May 15.
While previously only outgoing passengers had to pay the UDF, now those flying into Delhi have also been brought under the ambit of the UDF.
And that is not all!
According to the AERA, the rates will go up considerably in 2013-14.
A similar hike is also in the offing
across other airports in the country as state-owned airport developer, Airport Authority of India (AAI), which operates 125 airports - including 86 operational ones - has filed a tariff proposal before the AERA.
The AAI has demanded a hike in airport charges ranging between 100 and 400 per cent. Other Greenfield projects (new airports) in Bangalore and Hyderabad are also expected to see a hike in operational charges.
While outgoing passengers have so far been paying an UDF of Rs 200 for domestic and Rs 1,300 for international travel, industry sources said the increased airport levies would also be passed on by the airlines to the fliers, raising the airfares considerably.
According to the AERA, the UDF for international outbound passengers travelling between 2,000-5,000 kilometres will now be Rs 845 and Rs 699 for those flying into Delhi. For those travelling beyond 5,000km, the UDF will be Rs 1,068 for outbound and Rs 881 for inbound passengers.
Similarly for domestic travel, a passenger flying up to 500 km will have to pay Rs 231 while those flying in will have to shell out Rs 196. An outgoing traveller flying more than 500km will have to cough up Rs 463 while an incoming passenger will have to pay Rs 391.
The additional charges will come into effect from May 15 this year.
The AERA also announced a revised tariff for 2013-14 which will come into play from April 1, 2013.
According to it, the UDF for international travel will rise to Rs 895 for outbound passengers travelling between 2,000 and 5,000km and Rs 741 for inbound travellers. For those flying over 5,000km, it will cost Rs 1,131 for outbound passengers and Rs 933 for those flying in.
For the domestic sector, an outgoing flier travelling within 500km will have to pay an UDF of Rs 245 while the passenger will have to cough up Rs 207 for flying into Delhi.
Those flying more than 500km will have to shell out Rs 490 for outbound and Rs 415 for inbound travel, the AERA order said.
The GMR-led Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had sought a 774 per cent hike in airport charges but the AERA has announced an increase of 346 per cent. The civil aviation ministry had recommended a higher return of 18-20 per cent on equity to help the firm shore up revenues. DIAL, which had reported a loss of Rs 450 crore in 2010-11, expects to lose Rs 995 crore during the current fiscal.
The airport charges have not been hiked since 2001. In June 2011, the Delhi High Court had suspended the hike and had asked the AERA to make recommendations in the matter. Following this, the government had notified the UDF of Rs 200 and Rs 1,300 for domestic and international outbound passengers to enable DIAL bridge a funding gap of Rs 1,931 crore.Courtesy: Mail Today