New Delhi: Delhi airport operator on Wednesday termed as "a huge exaggeration" the claims of IATA that hike in the airport tariff will burden the airlines with USD 400 million.
"This claim of a USD 400 million is a huge exaggeration on the part of IATA. Assuming the airlines pass on the entire cost to the passenger (as is normal practise), DIAL's increased yield (and hence the maximum possible cost to an airline) is Rs 102 per passenger," a spokesperson of Delhi International Airport Limited said.
The Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEO Tony Tyler had said the increase will add over USD 400 million in operating costs for airlines providing connectivity to India through Delhi.
"India's airports are becoming increasingly expensive. The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) approved a 346 per cent increase in charges at Delhi Airport. Including Consumer Price Index adjustments, that's a 353 per cent rise," Tyler had said.
Countering the charge, the DIAL spokesperson said, "IGIA is not the most expensive airport in the world by any stretch of imagination. IATA calculates charges for the longest distances using the heaviest aircraft and cites these as an example to support its flawed arguments. The reality is that this section of traffic accounts for less than 10 per cent of the traffic at IGIA."
"DIAL has invested heavily in the improvement of existing infrastructure and the creation of new ones at IGI airport. This investment is now being offered a limited, regulated return by the competent authority as per our concession agreement. We do not feel the charges have any bearing on IGI airport's long-term success," he said.
Responding to Tyler's comment that hike in airport charges would impact travel demand by five to seven per cent and was bad for airline sector, the spokesperson said, "We hope the same holds true for the skyrocketing airfares...Just as IATA estimates a 5-7 per cent impact on travel demand due to airport charges, DIAL also estimates a 10-15 per cent impact on travel demand due to unregulated airfares.
Regarding an impact of the tariffs on Delhi's prospects as a hub, the argument is redundant as IGI airport levies no charges on transit passengers, the spokesperson said.
First Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 23:30