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Mar 04, 2012 at 12:27pm IST

Airlines lambast DIAL's plea for major hike in airport charges

New Delhi: Indian and foreign airlines have slammed the Delhi Airport operator's demand for an eight-fold hike in tariff, saying it would make the charges in New Delhi even costlier than those levied at Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong put together.

While the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has justified its proposal of a 774 per cent hike saying the aeronautical tariff would actually increase by 100-150 per cent, the carriers have said if the proposed hike is approved by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), it would make Delhi airport the costliest "in Asia, if not the world".

The airlines, in their representations before the regulatory body AERA, have warned that such a massive hike would lead passengers to move away from Delhi airport.

Airlines lambast DIAL's plea for hike in charges

The DIAL has justified its proposal of a 774 pc hike saying the aeronautical tariff would actually increase by 100-150 pc.

They have asked the government to revisit its revenue-share mechanism with DIAL.

Airline representative bodies like the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Board of Airline Representatives in India (BAR-I) and Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), have opposed the proposal to hike the navigation, parking and other charges known to the AERA.

Noting that the proposed increase would lead "passengers choosing to transit through other airports" than Delhi, the BAR-I has made it clear that "the airlines cannot afford these escalating increases in cost and some (foreign) airlines have even started winding up their operations".

An analysis of data published by IATA showed that even if a 148 per cent hike suggested by AERA was to go through, Delhi Airport charges in 2012 would be higher than Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai airports combined.

And next year, a further 148 per cent compounded increase would make them over 30 per cent higher than the total of these three and Hong Kong airport put together.