Indian airlines have raised objections over the proposed landing and parking charges increase at Adani-owned Lucknow airport, said sources at Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).

A Government official said: “Airlines have written to the AERA to not implement any increase in the aeronautical tariff in the Third Control Period and defer any increase in the same to the next control period because it will impact the airlines adversely.”

While the parking and landing charges are paid by the airlines, the UDF is a fee levied on the passenger’s ticket to utilise the facilities at the airport.

In the past one year, tariffs at Ahmedabad and Mangalore airports have been increased. 

“The proposed tariffs at Lucknow airport are exorbitant. This kills all airlines equally. Airlines are already grappling with losses, and they are still making up for the past three years of covid, higher ATF costs and now the inflation. This will make it difficult for airlines to sustain the cash flow. The only option then is to pass it on to the customers making airfares extremely higher at the airport,” said an airline official.

The proposed landing, parking and user development charges are decided according to domestic and international segments and according to the size of the aircraft.

An official said: “As compared to the narrow body aircraft (B-737/A320), the increase proposed for the smaller aircraft is almost double that of the increase proposed in the narrow body aircraft.” 

Major impact seen

He explained that this will have a major impact on the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), “The RCS was implemented to increase connectivity to comparatively smaller regional airports like Lucknow and also to far flung airports, especially by smaller aircraft,” he said.

“Even if it is not a regional route, the charges are eventually passed on to the passengers to an extent making air travel extremely expensive for the customer. And the user development fees too have been proposed to be hiked by approximately 480 per cent,” an official source said.

He said based on the metric tonne of a Q-400, which is 30 metric tonnes, the proposed approximate increase is 158-184 per cent from existing  charges. On the other hand, for a large aircraft like Boeing 737-800, the approximate proposed increase is between 108 per cent and 130 per cent from existing charges.

Similarly, for landing charges for the International on Q-400 approximate increase would be between 248 per cent and 283 per cent from existing charges; and on B-737-800 approximately increase between 127 per cent and 150 per cent.

Parking charges

On the parking charges too, on the domestic front, Lucknow International Airport Limited has proposed to increase the tariffs, which would impact the tariffs for an aircraft such as Q-400 by approximately between 418 per cent and 471 per cent from existing charges. 

An airline official requesting anonymity said, for landing and parking charges, LIAL has proposed to reduce the number of tariff slabs, which is contrary to airline interests.