A highly-commended Indian airport is set to become more expensive for passengers and airlines than any other on Earth, according to an airline industry group.
On 25 April 2012, AERA - India's Airports Economic Regulatory Authority - announced that charges at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi will increase 346 per cent.
The increase takes effect from 15 May and applies for the next 24 months. Set to significantly affect the many airlines that use Indira Gandhi, the charges will inevitably be transferred, down the line, to passengers.
Already, GMR Infrastructure - responsible for the running of Indira Gandhi's Terminals 1 and 3 - has forecast a two-level price increase programme to come on ticket fees, with domestic flights set to inflate by 290 Rupees and international flights, twice that amount.
Most Expensive Airport
Of the airlines operating at what's set to become the most expensive airport, one - Emirates - has already expressed concern over these new charges. "Emirates is concerned by the proposed increase in airport charges at Delhi airport", a representative explained to Gulf News, adding: "We are currently in discussions with the relevant authority."
IATA - the International Air Transport Association - meanwhile, has spoken of the situation in extremely strong terms. "India's aviation industry is already sick", IATA's assistant corporate communications director, Albert Tjoeng, stated. "This increase in Delhi's charges will put it in intensive care from a cost perspective."
Indira Gandhi Airport Charges
India's residents, many of whom are already reportedly more inclined to travel by train, could be discouraged further from flying, once the Indira Gandhi Airport charges take effect.
Indira Gandhi International Airport handled close to 30 million passengers in 2011 and, in the same year, was recognised by Airport Council International as the world's second-best airport with a 25-40m passenger capacity.
By 2030, it's planned for the hub to be able to handle no less than 100 million passengers and a major expansion programme's presently in motion. In 2010, one element of this expansion was completed with the opening of Indira Gandhi Terminal 3 - the eighth-biggest terminal in the world.