British Airways to revisit India play after airport charges hike

August 29th, 2012 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) British Airways Wednesday said the increase in airport charges at the national capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport has forced it to revisit its India strategy.

“The aviation industry is going through a difficult phase and after the hike in airport charges, it has become more difficult to operate at Delhi airport. Currently the charges are too high,” Christopher Fordyce, regional commercial manager, South Asia, told reporters here.

“Keeping the hike in charges in mind, we are revisiting our strategy and assessing route profitability,” Fordyce said.

According to Fordyce, airport charges may be replicated elsewhere in the country following the IGI airport example which will be detrimental to the growth of the airline sector in the country.

“While airport development is important, price escalation should also be taken into account as passengers will be affected due to high airport charges,” Fordyce said.

However, Fordyce said the airline did not plan to cut flights to and from Delhi.

British Airways is not the only international major which has shown its displeasure against the steep hike in airport charges.

Even International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Tyler has said that India’s airports are becoming “increasingly expensive”.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) has also protested against the hike in charges stating that it will lead to decline in demand of Delhi airport, fall in tourist arrival and adverse impact on trade and tourism.

On April 24, 2012 Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) had permitted DIAL to increase airport charges at IGI Airport like landing, parking, housing, fuel throughput and aeronautical charges by a whopping 345 percent for next two years.

DIAL was also allowed the airport operator to collect Rs.200 from departing domestic and Rs.1,300 from departing international passengers. The charges became applicable in May.

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