Friday, February 22, 2008

Book before March 6, beat airport user fee

Book before March 6, beat airport user fee
In Two Months, Rs 675 Levy Kicks In
Anshul Dhamija & Anil Kumar M | TNN

Bangalore: For those flying out of here, this is the time to book your flight tickets. If you want to travel after March 30 and yet escape the user development fee (UDF) that will come into force, book your tickets before March 6.
Once the new Bengaluru International Airport opens on March 30, a user development fee (UDF) of Rs 240 plus taxes and Rs 520 plus taxes will be levied on domestic and international travel, respectively. This is an introductory offer by BIAL for two months, after which the UDF will be doubled. Airlines are not passing this additional charge to the consumer as yet. “Our pricing remains the same. We have not increased the prices of our tickets on travel post March 30,’’ said a Deccan spokesperson.
However, a spokesperson of a leading full-service carrier said after March 6, airlines will be taking a call on increasing airfares keeping the UDF in mind. “BIAL will release the full details of flight schedules and the various taxes it will be levying on March 6. Only after that will we look at increasing fares,’’ said an airline official. On domestic sectors, airfares will go up by Rs 240 and on international sectors by Rs 540 for a period of two months. Thereafter passengers will have to bear a UDF of Rs 675 on domestic flights and Rs 955 on international routes.
Currently, HAL Airport charges an airport tax of Rs 200, which airlines pass on to the consumer.
“UDF is used to refinance the huge investments made by us. There are definitely no free services and free lunches. At the end of the day, we have to make money,’’ said BIAL CEO Albert Brunner. According to him, all airlines have been alerted about the UDF charges to make the required airfare corrections.
“The current UDF charges will be vetted by the regulatory authority that is to be set up soon by the civil aviation ministry. We will abide by whatever they recommend,’’ said Brunner.
UDF is meant to maintain high infrastructure quality and safety. It had been included in the detailed project report when the airport was being set up at Devanahalli. Brunner said the issue of revising UDF will be left to an independent regulatory authority to be set up later.
Expressing satisfaction at the pace of work on the airport site, Brunner said Bengaluru airport would be better than its Hyderabad counterpart, as it was expected handle 70% more traffic than the latter. “Hyderabad wanted to beat us in inaugurating the airport. Though there were suggestions to complete the work here faster than Hyderabad, we stuck to our schedule,’’ he maintained.
Referring to poor connectivity to the airport, Brunner said the state government had approached BIAL to woo private investors for the proposed high-speed rail link project. However, airport authorities are said to have told the government BIAL would invest 10% if a special purpose vehicle were to be created to monitor the project.
The state government, which is a stakeholder in the airport project, has prepared the ground work to introduce a high-speed rail network connecting BRV Grounds on M G Road to the new international airport.


At Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 4:44:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BIAL is apparently using a new revenue model. A "user fee" of approximately $25 is outrageous. Would somebody please tell BIAL that they should, like every other international airport, derive their revenues from services provided to airlines, concession fees, parking and so on? If this was a fee agreed upon in the contract between BIAL and AAI, why did they wait until virtually the last minute to disclose it? It seems like these PPPs are merely new vehicles to engage in the old sport of separating the unwitting public from their money.

At Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 12:18:00 AM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Domestic travellers have to cough up Rs 675 + taxes and Int'l Travellers Rs 955+taxes!This is outrageous! People should take a serious note of what is happening here and avoid Bangalore airport at all costs.This power to bring BIAL folks to senses is only in the hands of the consumers.Int'l travellers may consider using Chennai airport and taking a train to Bangalore.

At Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 3:16:00 AM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just FYI, most aiports charge the airlines a per passenger fee (it is ~$8 per passenger in the bigger airports in the US). And with regards to landing at Chennai or Hyderabad may I suggest a bullock cart to then continue on to Bangalore??? How practical do you think it is to add a 6-7 hours train ride to a 9 hours of flying time (from Europe) and 20+ hours of flying time (from the US)? And it makes even less sense for a domestic flight ( 3 hours flying time from Delhi + a 7 hour train ride !!!). It is time Indians realized that they have to pay for better facilities - you get only crap for cheap (for example, the existing HAL "airport").


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