Domestic passengers flying out of Hyderabad will have to pay an increased user fee of Rs 430 per trip and international travellers Rs 1,700, representing a hike of 26 per cent and 87 per cent respectively, from November 1, the airport operator said on Wednesday.
"The new increased user development fee (UDF) will be Rs 430 per head for all domestic outbound passengers and Rs 1,700 per head for all international outbound passengers (excluding service taxes)," GMR Hyderabad International Airport said in a statement.
Earlier, domestic departing passengers had to pay Rs 340 towards the airport levy, excluding service tax, while international passengers were charged Rs 907, minus service tax.
The decision was taken following approval from the airport regulator, Airport Economic Authority of India (AERA), the statement said, adding that the increased rates will be applicable from midnight, November 1.
The AERA had floated a discussion paper and held a stakeholders' meet on the issue last month, following the plea of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that it should be allowed to raise the UDF charges, as it suffered losses in two subsequent years, 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The increase in levies would earn the loss-making airport operator an additional Rs 650 crore over the next three years and may enable it to turn profitable in this financial year itself, GHIAL had submitted at the stakeholders' meeting.
It had also termed the earlier UDF as inadequate and had originally sought to increase the levy from Rs 340 to Rs 500 for departing domestic passengers and from Rs 907 to Rs 2,825 for departing international passengers.
The airport operator, which said the increase in UDF is required to maintain "globally benchmarked performance standards", was also backed by the state government.
However, domestic airline companies had opposed the proposal at the meeting held on September 29 in Hyderabad, saying it will hurt the domestic aviation sector, which is still recovering from the impact of the global economic slowdown.
The airline companies had also expressed concern that the hike in the UDF at the Hyderabad International Airport might also encourage other airports to follow suit and raise charges.
They had also said that an increase in UDF may lead to a dip in passenger traffic, affecting both the airlines and the airport.