You remember that everytime you travel from Mumbai or Delhi airports, you pay a Development Fee, which is going directly to construction or development of future facilities but will not gain you comfort today?
Mumbai airport levies Rs. 100 and Rs. 600 on each domestic and international passenger as Airport Development Fee. Delhi charges Rs. 200 and Rs. 1,300 as ADF from every domestic and international outbound flyer along with a user development fee (UDF) of Rs 196 to Rs 1,068 from all flyers, including incoming ones. The combined impact of these two fees has made Delhi among the most expensive airports in the world, leading to airlines dropping the swanky airport from their plans over the past year.
The implementation of these charges was to make good the funding gap of the airport. However, now the Government of India has asked the Airports Authority of India to induce equity into these airports’ companies. AAI is a 26% owner in these airports still, and is likely to induce an equity of Rs. 288 Crores ($ 55 million) in Mumbai Airport and Rs. 102 Crores ($ 20 million) in Delhi Airport. Given this happens in time, there is also an instruction to withdraw the ADF from 1st January 2013 onwards. If you’re looking for more, well, at the Udaipur Airport (UDR) and Chennai Airport (MAA), which were recently redeveloped, no ADF is coming anymore.
Will this happen in time or not is anyone’s guess. What I do know is that if their is a withdrawal of airport surcharges from 2013 onwards, I’m still not perhaps going to get a refund on tickets already booked. So, for my travels where I can avoid booking tickets just yet, I am holding off because I could perhaps be getting about 10% less pricing or so if these taxes go away anyways. BOM is my home airport and DEL is a well frequented airport for me, so I tend to pay a lot of money for no facilities you see. I guess there won’t be a spike in airfares anymore after the high levels they are at today.
What would you do, book up or stay on the sidelines?