Adani Group recently increased charges by as high as 10-times at Lucknow airport. Various charges like 'turnaround charges' at the airport have been raised drastically for private jets and international flights.
Aviation industry experts mentioned in a report that after Lucknow, similar charges at other Adani group-operated airports may also be witnessed.
Till now, the Adani Group has won bids to operate six government airports- Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram and Lucknow for fifty years in 2019. Even though a number of charges at airports are regulated either by the government or Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), a ground handling company which has the authority to increase charges,reported The Economic Times.
The regulator, AERA, decides on charges at airports for five years. In the case of Lucknow airport, the five-year period ended last year. However, the decision on charges for the next five years is still pending.
The airport operator in Lucknow has hired a new ground handling company which has led to the increase in tariffs.
However, flight operators complain that there is no noticeable upgrade in service quality despite the hike in charges.
Although the privatisation of airports has increased efficiency, it has also led to increased charges which have been opposed by airline bodies.
In the past, the International Air Transport Association and Federation of Indian Airlines have opposed high charges at airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.