HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014


Delhi airport charges will hit expansion: British Airways
Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 06, 2012
First Published: 21:47 IST(6/5/2012)
Last Updated: 22:27 IST(6/5/2012)

The steep hike in Delhi airport charges will make it difficult for airlines to invest in their network and services in India, Europe's leading carrier, British Airways (BA) has said.

The airport regulator has approved a 346% hike in Delhi airport charges.

"India is a key market for us, infact after the UK it is the second-most important market for BA." Christopher Fordyce, BA's newly appointed regional commercial manager for South Asia told Hindustan Times.

"In an already difficult economic environment for airlines, any increase in costs will have a direct impact on future growth," he said. "We at BA constantly review our operations across the world to ensure that operating on any route makes viable business sense, and increasing costs to such levels will bring India into sharp focus," he added.

IAG, the parent company of BA, Fordyce said, was not engaged in talks with any Indian airline at the moment for buying a stake.

"The process to allow foreign airlines to invest in Indian carriers has not yet been fully approved so it would be wrong to speculate about IAG's interest in any Indian airlines at this stage. We are not discussing with any one," he said.

BA, which suspended a code-share agreement with beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), has been viewed as a potential investor in the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier if the government allows investment by foreign airlines.

"BA continues to work closely with KFA and are looking forward to reinstating the codeshare and welcoming them into oneworld at the appropriate time," said Fordyce.

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