New Delhi: Having cleared the levy of user development fees (UDF) for domestic passengers at the new Hyderabad international airport, the ministry of civil aviation may now be all set to clear an increase in aeronautical charges for Delhi and Mumbai airports. The action will inevitably increase travelling costs for passengers as airlines pass their operating costs to them.
The ministry had initially disallowed Mumbai airport developer, the GVK Group, to hike charges by 10 per cent on the grounds that it would make flying more expensive in an adverse environment. It may now be considering a change in stance. Ministry officials say that a 10 per cent hike in aeronautical charges in its third year of operation was part of the agreement with both the GMR and the GVK groups for the Delhi and Mumbai airports, respectively.
Both the developers have asked for hikes as it was part of their business model. They indicate that the demands are now being considered at the highest level in the ministry.
Interestingly, it may now turn out to be a double whammy for passengers for along with higher airport charges, the Mumbai airport developer has also asked for an increase in passenger service fees (PSF) levied on each passenger ticket.
So even as a hike in aeronautical costs for airlines is passed on to them, passengers will now also have to bear an added burden n the amount of PSF being levied on their tickets.
Mumbai is India's busiest airport and along with Delhi handles over 60 per cent of the air traffic, amounting to about 3,760 daily movements.
Airlines have already said that higher airport charges at Mumbai and Delhi would affect their overall cost of operations and lead to higher fares.