Chennai: A proposal to increase the city airport’s user charges hit an air pocket on Thursday with both international and Indian carriers panning the proposal. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) intends to increase the international and domestic landing charges payable by airlines at the Anna International Airport by 118 per cent and 48 per cent respectively from November 1.
German carrier Lufthansa lashed out at the proposal, stating that the “unreasonable increase in charges will have a strong negative effect on the economic result of the sector.” Lufthansa operates flights on the Chennai-Frankfurt route. “In the interest of our Indian customers and the future joint success of the Chennai-Frankfurt route, we urge the responsible management of Chennai International Airport to reconsider the move,” said a spokesperson.
Other carriers like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines have already joined Indian firms in expressing their disappointment. The AAI wants to set Rs 5,000 as the minimum landing fee, apart from an 83 per cent hike in parking and housing charges. It also wanted to impose User Development Fees (UDF) of Rs 165 on every domestic and Rs 667 for every international passenger from January 1. The AAI also wants all these charges hiked by six per cent annually from 2013-14 onwards. Similar hikes at the Delhi and Mumbai airports.