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Relief for domestic air passengers as DGCA slashes airport charges

Relief for domestic air passengers as DGCA slashes airport charges
Domestic air passengers will have to pay less at the airports, particularly the non-major ones, from the next month as the aviation regulator has brought down certain charges to the level of last December.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had hiked the air navigational charges at all domestic airports besides increasing passenger service fee, user development fee as well as landing, parking and housing fee at all non-major airports from December 16, 2016.

"The tariff pertaining to air navigational charges at all airports and airport charges at non-major airports of AAI for all domestic flights are restored hereby to the rates... prior to December 16, 2016," DGCA said in a notification last Friday.

The restored tariff will be applicable for the period from July 1 to March 31 next year.

Generally, airports serving less than 12 lakh passengers annually are considered as non-major.

The charges for these aerodromes are fixed by DGCA whereas for major airports the rates are determined by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).

Meanwhile, domestic air traffic grew at 17.36 per cent with Indian airlines ferrying 101.74 lakh passengers last month as compared to 86.69 lakh passengers in May, 2016.

IndiGo, the largest domestic airline by market share, returned to the top spot last month in terms of punctuality with 85 per cent of its flights arriving and departing on schedule.

The Gurgaon-based carrier had clocked a poor third in terms of on-time performance in April this year after retaining the top position in March, which it had lost last year to rival SpiceJet.

IndiGo also flew the maximum number of passengers at 41.91 lakh passengers, cornering 41.2 per cent of the total market pie, according to monthly traffic data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday.

SpiceJet, however, continued with the highest seat occupancy, registering 94.4 per cent load factor during the reporting month.

"We are bullish that this high double digit growth on a much higher base will continue in the coming months driven by stable oil prices and increased capacity from the airlines.

The roll out of the UDAN scheme is also expected to give a further fillip to the market in the medium term," said Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer (B2C),


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