The pandemic has hit the aviation industry hard, and though the prices have been hiked during the pandemic, it looks like the travails of passengers will not end soon. Flying from Hyderabad and a few other cities will cost be costing more starting April 1 as several airports – both PPP and AAI ones – will be increasing the prices.
In the past, the reason given was sustenance and expansion plans. This time, it is the shooting up of prices of jet fuel. Both the user development fees (UDF) and aero charges levied on airlines will be passed on as higher fares to customers. The airports that will see a hike will include Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, and Kochi. On the other hand, Pune will see a minor fall in prices.
While the airline executives say the hike will have a limited impact, it is nevertheless a hike. ATF prices have been revised from April 1 as jet fuel prices are at a 14-year high globally. Kolkata, for instance, will see UDF for departing domestic and international passengers rise from Rs 583 and Rs 1401.7 rise to Rs 598 and Rs 1437. Also, the prices will rise in phases to Rs 644 and Rs 1547 starting April 1, 2025. However, the good news for frequent fliers is that, starting January 1, 2026, the prices will fall to Rs 547 and Rs 1315.
Though the airlines did hike prices owing to the pandemic, they have made it clear to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) that any hike in prices would hamper air traffic recovery. While AERA did not hike prices in 2021-22, it has also rejected the requests by Delhi and Mumbai airports to levy ad hoc UDF to tide over the COVID crisis.
In all, flying will be a costlier affair, to put it candidly.