International airlines oppose moves to hike Chennai airport charges
New Delhi: International carriers on Friday protested a proposal to increase airport charges at the newly -developed Chennai International Airport, saying it would have "a strong negative effect" on foreign travel.
Coming in the backdrop of hikes in charges at Delhi and Mumbai airports, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has proposed to increase the rates which would be valid till 2015-16 and sought the views of all stakeholders.
Leading German carrier Lufthansa, which operates flights on the Chennai-Frankfurt route, said the proposed "unreasonable increase in airport charges at Chennai airport would have a strong negative effect on the economic result of the sector."
The statement came in the backdrop of other international carriers like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines joining all Indian airlines in opposing the hike in airport charges.
The proposal mooted by Airports Authority of India, which developed Chennai airport, seeks an increase of 118 per cent in international and 48 in domestic landing charges from November one, minimum landing fee of Rs 5000 per landing and an 83 per cent hike in parking and housing charges for planes.
It also proposed to impose User Development Fees (UDF) of Rs 165 per domestic and Rs 667 per international passenger from January 1 next year.
From 2013-14 onwards, there would be an annual escalation of six per cent per annum each tariff year proposed on landing, housing, parking and UDF, the proposal said.