Delhi Airport contemplates further fee hikes to stem losses

A DELAY in payment of airport charges by Kingfisher Airlines and Air India, coupled with accumulated losses and interest payments, may force Delhi International Airport (DIAL) to further increase fees at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

DIAL has requested a 774 per cent hike in airport charges to stem the bleeding, but India’s Airport Economic Regulatory Authority has so far only approved a 334 per cent increase from April 2012, which has yet to be implemented.

In addition, DIAL has proposed introducing a user development fee, to be levied on all airlines using New Delhi airport. An international passenger is likely to pay US$28; a domestic traveller, US$12; and a transit passenger, US$16.

Several airlines have protested against the move and have warned that they may be forced to establish alternative hubs in the region.

Kamal Hingorani, senior vice president, SpiceJet said: “Any increase at this stage could be hugely detrimental, as any levy will be passed on to the customer and would make flight costs untenable. Most airlines would have to stop flying to or through Delhi, and that would reduce footfalls at Delhi airport.”

Air India’s arrears are US$90 million, while Kingfisher Airlines owes US$15 million to DIAL.

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