Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, a top gateway for those with flights to India, is likely to see an introduction of a new tariff – User Development Fee (UDF). The hike is proposed by the airport’s governing authority, DIAL.

Travellers on flights to India arriving into or departing from or even transiting through Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport are likely to shell out extra as a new tariff named User Development Fee (UDF) is likely to be implemented in the near future.

The Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) has appealed to the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) to declare airport charge hike at Delhi’s international airport as soon as possible and make the hike applicable from June 15.

Consequently, travellers with airline tickets to and from Delhi “or even transiting through IGI Airport” after June 15 are likely to pay more for their air travel.

“We have requested for an early announcement of the tariff order and making it applicable from June 15. Apart from the financial losses we are suffering now, the other reason for this request is that people who are booking tickets to fly to, from or via Delhi after the date from which the new order would be applicable will have to line up to pay the new UDF at airport counters. So the earlier the order is announced, the new charge can be factored in by airlines and travel portals to avoid the hassle of lining up at IGI,” Economic Times, India’s top financial daily, quoted a DIAL official.

The report further says that AERA sources have confirmed DIAL’s request for hike from June 15. The newspaper quotes the sources as stating that the authority is looking to make the announcement by April end. The sources did not rule out the June 15 implementation date.

Apart from proposing the new UDF on fliers “arriving, departing or even transiting” the IGI airport (which comes in addition to the current airport development fee of INR 200 to INR 1300 charged only from the outbound international and domestic travellers) DIAL had earlier demanded a 774% hike in airport charges payable by airlines. This rise is also going to be passed on to travellers by the means of higher airfare deals. The indication is quite clear that holiday makers in the coming few months are going to find it exceedingly difficult to net cheap flights to India connecting to Delhi.

Under the new UDF, DIAL has proposed to charge Rs 1,300-1,400 from international passengers; Rs 600 from domestic passengers; and Rs 800 and Rs 360 from transiting international and domestic flyers, respectively.

However, sources indicate these charges to be as per the 774% rise demanded by DIAL and are most likely to be trimmed down in proportion to the final hike authorized by AERA.

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