Malaysian long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X has decided to withdraw services to India (Mumbai and Delhi) and Europe (Paris and London) from its Kuala Lumpur hub.
The move comes close on the heals of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority recommending a hike in airport tariffs at the Delhi airport from April. AirAsia X’s four weekly services to Mumbai will be withdrawn by January 31 and daily services to Delhi by March.
“The airport and handling costs in Delhi and Mumbai are already more expensive than even airports in Australia, and the authorities have just approved a massive 280% increase in airport fees effective April 2012,” the airline said.
“This sector continues to be served by Malaysia Airlines with 12 weekly flights. We look forward to welcoming new entrants on this route or increased frequencies from incumbent players,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
Air France-KLM expresses concern
“With the increase of Delhi airport user fees, the burden on the airlines and customers will increase, as it will lead to rise in airfares and cost of operations,” said Pieter De Man, GM, Indian sub-continent, Air France-KLM.
“The Delhi airport is already one of the most expensive airports in Asia and the additional cost to airlines and passengers will run into many millions of dollars. It may be expected that airlines may even cease their operations to Delhi due to these extreme cost factors. We strongly oppose this type of unrealistic increases and appeal to the Indian authorities to put a halt to the same,” he said.