COVID-19: Private Airports Might Charge You Extra Fees for Coronavirus Screening

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Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Private airport operators have raised this situation since strict journey restrictions as a result of Covid-19 pandemic is severely affecting their income streams.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: March 14, 2020, 4:21 PM IST
  • Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh

Facing strain on their money flows within the wake of flight cancellations by airways attributable to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, personal airport operators have pitched for placing a moratorium on income share for a minimum of three months and levy a charge on air tickets to cowl the bills made in the direction of deploying extra sources for screening worldwide travellers.

While GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) is required to share 45.99 per cent of its gross income with state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI), the concession settlement with Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) requires the agency to half with 38.7 per cent of its income with the federal government company.

The airport’s physique representing seven personal operators has in a letter to Civil Aviation Secretary PS Kharola has mentioned that each aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues have been affected attributable to flight cancellations by home and worldwide airways up to now few weeks. Further, lots of their concessionaires resembling meals and beverage (F&B) service suppliers might default within the occasion of disaster persevering with.

“Reduced passengers at airports have adversely impacted the non-aero revenues due to fewer sales at F&B and retail outlets. Non-aero concessionaires have already started asking for reduced revenue share or MMG which in turn will impact airport operators revenues,” Association of Private Airports Operators (APAO) has mentioned in its communication to the nodal Civil Aviation Ministry.

The APAO mentioned that guaranteeing compliance with authorities advisories on screening of passengers has required airports to considerably beef up its manpower deployment at airports in addition to make expenditure on varied gadgets like masks, sanitisers and ground cleaners.

“Given our focus on passenger convenience especially at such a juncture, significant time and effort are being spent by senior management at all these airports. Infrastructure placed by airports are of fixed nature and not flexible in response to such fluctuations in passenger demand. Corresponding financial burden is also of fixed nature in terms of interest outgo and various other expenses,” the trade physique has mentioned.

The operators which embrace corporations managing the nation’s major aviation gateways like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore have pitched for provisioning of an “airport operator alleviation package” to satisfy its extra expenditure. APAO has argued that airports are going through fast money movement pressures within the wake of flights cancelled by airways however it doesn’t have the flexibleness to scale back working expense on condition that they’re fastened in nature.

It famous that whereas airways can select to cancel flights or relocate their plane to different markets to scale back working prices, airports face fast money movement pressures with restricted capability to scale back fastened prices and few sources to fund capability enlargement efforts for longer-term future development. “For privately held airports, the situation is even worse as they do not benefit from relief measures but are obliged to continue paying concession fees,” mentioned the airports grouping.

With coronavirus spreading to almost 110 nations and India quarantining itself by suspending all visas besides few classes, journey, aviation and tourism sectors have been worst hit. Many of the journey trade our bodies have urged the federal government to offer a reduction package deal to scale back the opposed influence. In order to deal with the rising severity of the coronavirus and make sure the sustainability of operations for airport operators, the personal airports have prompt shut cooperation mechanism between trade and coverage stakeholders.

The operators have prompt permitting the levying of a nominal passenger facilitation cost as a part of airline fares to cowl elevated working bills being incurred by the operators and provisioning of an “airport operator alleviation package”. “The government may decide certain routes or all routes for imposing an additional fee on air tickets,” an airport government mentioned.

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