AERA hikes Goa Airport’s aeronautical charges; tickets to get costlier

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), has hiked Dabolim/Goa International Airport’s aeronautical charges — which are levied on airlines, which accordingly decide airfares — and user development fees (UDF) that are paid directly by flyers.

Now flying out of Goa will be costlier from July 1 till next March and then the air ticket prices will get progressively more expensive every fiscal till April 2025.

AERA hikes Goa Airport’s aeronautical charges; tickets get costlier

Coupled with high airfares due to a record high jet fuel prices and a weak rupee, this will mean a costlier trip to one of India’s most loved holiday paradises.

According to the AERA tariff order, the UDF for departing domestic and international passengers will rise from the present INR 301 and INR 604 (taxes extra) respectively to INR 375 and INR 695 from July 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.

The UDF will be INR 430 (domestic) and INR 760 (international) between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024. In FY 24-25, the same will be INR 495 (domestic) and INR 825 (international). And in FY 25-26, the charges will be INR 570 (domestic) and INR 900 (international).

The authority has decided to allow a one-time increase of 30% in domestic and international aircraft parking charges this fiscal starting from July 1, 2022, and an increase by 5% thereafter year-on-year till FY 2025-26.

“Airports Authority of India (AAI) is entitled to recover INR 967.7 crore (from Goa airport). The present value of total projected aeronautical revenues based on the authority’s parking and UDF charges is INR 752.3 crore, resulting in a net shortfall (under-recovery) of INR 215.4 crore. The authority has decided to carry forward the under-recovery of INR 215.4 crore to the fourth control period, with a view to not burden the airport users, who are already suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact, further with excessive tariffs at this juncture, which shall act counterproductive to the revival of the aviation sector.”

Goa airport tariff order, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA)

The AERA had a tough balancing act as on the one hand are Covid-hit airlines that oppose any further hike in operating costs or UDF to ensure reasonable fares help people return to flights.

And on the other are airport developers who need to sustain operations, and incur Capex amid the sharp drop in footfalls since March 2020. The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA, which has major Indian carriers as its members) had opposed the proposed hike at Goa.

“It is in the interest of all the stakeholders that the proposed tariffs be reduced to encourage middle-class people to travel by air, which will help in sharp post­ Covid-19 recovery of the aviation sector.”

“Financial condition during the Covid-19 pandemic has deteriorated to a great extent. The AAI has incurred a loss of INR 1,962 crore in FY 2020-21. It has resorted to borrowing from the market to finance its capital as well as opex (operational expenses). Although it is expected that the aviation sector is likely to bounce back to pre-covid level by FY 2023-24. But for AAI’s current survival, it is required to improve cash flows.”

Airports Authority of India (AAI)

Goa International Airport, also known as Dabolim Airport, is located in the village of Dabolim in Goa, India. Goa is a popular tourist destination and the airport is served by over 20 scheduled and charter airlines. The airport sees significant international charter traffic in the northern winter from the European airlines.

(With Inputs from The Times of India)

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