New Delhi To Become World's Most Expensive Airport

April 26, 2012

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India's New Delhi airport will become the world's most expensive, with its operator GMR Infrastructure permitted to raise charges, hurting the airport's ambition to become an aviation hub, IATA said.

On Wednesday, GMR, which received a regulatory approval to raise the airport charges from May 15, called the increase "inadequate" to cover its costs.

Air ticket prices for international flights operating from the airport would rise by an average of INR580 rupees (USD$11), while domestic fares would increase by an average INR290 rupees, GMR said in a statement.

The revised charges would push up the landing and parking fees for aircraft, apart from raising the user development fee, GMR said, a move that may discourage foreign airlines to operate to and from the Indian capital.

"India's aviation industry is already sick. This increase in Delhi's charges will put it in intensive care from a cost perspective," Albert Tjoeng, assistant director of corporate communications at International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement.

The move may also hurt demand from cost-conscious Indians, who are already battling high inflation and have the option of using much cheaper trains.

Airports Authority of India, Germany’s Fraport and Malaysia Airports are GMR's consortium partners for the airport.

(Reuters)