A user development fee (UDF) is usually charged by airports to fund the airport’s construction and future growth. Though most airports in India charge a nominal fee, UDF came into the spotlight once the new greenfield airports at Bengaluru and Hyderabad began charging a significant amount since 2008. Ten years later, the UDF at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Aiport is at its lowest levels. The fee needs to be approved by the AERA before it is charged, and is regulated by the same authority.
Earlier this week, from September 16, 2018, the fee for international passengers has been slashed to INR 400 from the earlier INR 1266 charged. On the domestic front, the UDF component on a ticket departing from Bangalore of has been reduced to INR 100 from INR 306. That works out to around a 60% from the earlier charges.
However, the fees will continue to increase moderately in the coming years. Here is how the fees are lined up for the coming years:
- September 16, 2018, to March 31, 2019: INR 100 for Domestic/ INR 400 International
- April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020: INR 139 for Domestic/ INR 558 International
- April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021: INR 179 for Domestic/ INR 716 International
This does not necessarily mean that your next flight out of Bengaluru would get cheaper. It is up to the airline to decide whether to pass on this benefit to the end customer or not.
Now, what about flights in the future for which you’ve paid the old tariff? At the moment there is no word on any kind of refunds from the operator. Delhi Airport last year, refunded excess UDF to passengers. So there may be a possibility for something like that to happen, but we haven’t heard yet.
This cut has been in the works for close to two years. While the UDF has been cut, I doubt whether airlines are going to pass on this benefit to passengers as many of them are not in a good shape.
Have you seen your ticket prices drop for departures from Bangalore? Should airlines pass on this UDF cut to passengers?