High airport charges dimming Delhi's hub potential: Lufthansa
Bangalore: German airline Lufthnsa Thursday said the high airport charges in Delhi may prevent the national capital from fully achieving its objective of becoming an aviation hub and transiting traffic between Europe and Far East.
A 345 percent increase in airport charges at Indira Gandhi International airport is "definitely too much in one go" and "we are not able to compensate this", Axel Hilgers, Director (South Asia) Lufthansa told PTI here.
He said the initial idea of creating the new terminal 3 or T3 as a hub for India and hub traffic transiting between Europe and Far-East via India "will not possibly happen -- at least not in the dimension it was planned" because there are other hubs around India which offer better conditions for airlines as well as consumers.
"India is losing out its strategic approach because T3 will not develop as a hub -- at least not as much as it could," Hilgers said.
Dubai Airport has low charges, no tax on fuel, no airport development fee and no user development fee and so, it's far more attractive for airlines and transit passengers, he said.
"So high charges" would slow down investment in operations by airlines, he said, adding, "If Delhi (airport) follows initial planning and ideas, they could make a big point against other hubs".
Hilgers said other airports offer better conditions for transit passengers compared to Delhi.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa flew all-new 747-8 Intercontinental to Bangalore in the early hours Thursday. It has deployed this latest offering on its direct Bangalore-Frankfurt route.
The carrier is the global launch customer for this latest avatar of the legendary family of Jumbo Jets. Bangalore is the third destination worldwide to receive the B747-8 and the second Indian destination after New Delhi.
Hilgers said this aircraft has lower operational cost because fuel consumption is 15 percent less.