Berlin: Airline passengers may soon have to pay for their check-in luggage, according to Jet Airways chief, Naresh Goyal. Speaking to reporters during the Berlin Air Show Goyal stated that airline companies have been forced to take such a step in order to cope with rising fuel prices.
According to Goyal, the airline industry is facing a severe financial crunch from rising oil prices, which hit a whopping $135 a barrel just last week. Fuel prices account for about 40 per cent of total operating costs of airlines, Goyal added.
Airlines across the world are desperately seeking newer means to generate revenue in order to tackle inflation and charging for check-in luggage is one such option. American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, has already announced that it will levy $15 for check-in baggage, operational from July 2008.
It now appears that Indian carriers may soon follow in its footsteps, if Goyal's statement is anything to go by.
A few aviation experts have welcomed this move, which will not only generate additional revenues for carriers but will also discourage passengers from carrying excess baggage. This will result in savings for airlines through reduction in the weight of the aircraft, which in turn will generate savings through fuel consumption.
But some analysts suggest that such moves by carriers could drive away passengers as check-in periods would be extended. A better solution, they said, would be to increase ticket fares.