Flying to get costlier as AAI, DIAL and others seek to up charges

Flying is set to get costlier in India this year, with the Airports Authority of India planning to double the landing and parking charges for airlines. This comes close on the heels of the 774-per cent hike the Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) is seeking and the regulator having approved 334 per cent increase from April.

Mumbai airport is also understood to be planning to follow suit on the charges.

Once the AAI demand gets the nod from Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), the enhanced charges would be passed on to passengers by way of higher fares. This will come on top of new charges at some airports like Delhi and the general increase airlines are contemplating to cover their massive losses.

While airlines remain opposed to any hike in airport charges and asking operators to increase cash flow by lower tariffs to ensure more footfalls, airports are also pointing at massive losses and non-payment of dues from near bankrupt airlines, particularly Air India and Kingfisher that are deeply in the red and unable to pay their past dues.

Though AAI too is avoiding seeking a hike in airport charges at present, but may have to go in for it as it has been augmenting infrastructure in the form of new terminals and runways across the country.

AAI is said to needed at least a 200-per cent hike for quicker cost recoveries.