In a bid to compensate for revenue loss, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has hiked User Development Fee (UDF) for departing domestic and international passengers. UDF is a charge levied by airports on passengers to recoup the investment on development work.

While international passengers flying out of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will have to shell out Rs 839 as the UDF fee, domestic travellers will need to pay Rs 184, the BIAL said in a press release on Saturday, May 30.

Kempegowda International airport
Kempegowda International airportTwitter

"The revised UDF for departing passengers at KIA, Bengaluru, is Rs 184 per pax (domestic) and Rs 839 per pax (international)," read a statement by the airport. The new UDF will be applicable from June 1 for the year 2020-21.

Minimal increase in ticket prices of flights from Bengaluru

The UDF for passengers traveling within the country has increased by 3 per cent (Rs 5), whereas those heading overseas will shell out 17 per cent (Rs 184) more. Earlier, the UDF was Rs 179 per domestic pax and Rs 716 per international pax. The overall ticket prices of passengers departing from the capital city of Karnataka will see a minimal rise.

As mentioned in the BIAL's press release, the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) permitted KIA to increase the fees in order to compensate for the loss of discontinuation of Fuel Throughput Charges (FTC). Airports across the country also bore heavy losses due to the nationwide lockdown that was imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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A SpiceJet Airlines plane at Bengaluru airportReuters file

"AERA issued an order on May 26, 2020, allowing BIAL to increase landing charges and UDF for FY 2020-21 to compensate for the revenue loss, as a result of the abolition of FTC," said the BIAL spokesperson.

It was on January 8 that the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) ordered AERA to direct airport operators to discontinue FTC levy on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) in any form. "MoCA issued an order dated January 8, 2020 - addressed to AERA - directing airport operators to discontinue the levy of Fuel Throughput Charges (FTC) on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), in any manifestation, at all airports," said the official.

Air travel resumed in the country from May 25 after a gap of 2 months. Currently, only domestic flights are in operation. International flights are expected to resume before August, but a date is yet to be finalized, which will be done after assessment of the situation in phase 3