Saturday 15 September 2012

Airport charges Worldwide

The aviation industry is vocally opposing the steep increase in airport charges at Indian airports,” said Axel Hilgers, Director (South Asia) of Lufthansa German Airlines and Austrian Airlines. For airline companies, Mr. Hilgers said, the additional burden was severe because they were already paying more for aviation fuel in India.

“Delhi’s T3 Terminal has become one of the expensive airports in the world, fees having been hiked by 346 per cent. This was never seen anywhere else before,” Mr. Hilgers said. The operating cost for airlines was already high in India, he observed. While the Chennai airport operator had indicated that airport fees would be raised by between 153 and 183 per cent, there were rumours that the fee at Mumbai was also set to increase, he told The Hindu here on Thursday.

He said that the Federation of Indian Airlines and at least 14 foreign carriers had been contesting the case pertaining to the hike at Delhi airport. The case is being fought between Federation of Indian Airlines and international airlines against the Airports Economic Regulatory authority, which is being heard by the Competition Appellate Tribunal.

“Lufthansa, however, is not planning to cut down operations in India owing to these issues,” Mr. Hilgers said.

“Lufthansa has no intention of investing in Indian airline companies,” said Frank Puttmann, Lufthansa’s Head of Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific. “The dynamics in the Indian aviation sector could change if regulations governing the sector were changed,” said Axel Hilgers.
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