Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Exclusive! Alls not good on the airports' front

Neelam Mathews
June 24, 2014

There are so many woes domestic airlines are facing that one never hears of, that are often sniffed away. They range from something as basic as two aerobridges in Indore festering for 6 months for boarding that havent been fixed, to common terminal charges at airports, which some have referred to as "match fixing by the airports authority," (not our view!) . Do we really need aerobridges (Indore) for two flights a day?," AerospaceDiary is asked. Logic says no, but economic logic says something else, we guess. The query: "Why not create facilities where they are needed, instead of the other way around,?" makes sense again.
One hopes presentations made to the PM recently took major issues in account.
A case in point deeply resented by most airlines is that of Bangalore airport. "You increase  UDF, landing charges by 64% and then offer a discount of 25% on non-peak flights, still an increase of 40%," moans an operator.
But the most apparent 'offer' that clearly is made for a budget startup and one that smells unfairness is the airport's 'home carrier policy,' says an official. It offers a discount of 50% on landing charges for airlines willing to shift their home base to Bangalore. "Even Go Air cannot do that with a small fleet. Besides, can Bangalore really afford to offer parking, slots and gates to all the airlines?  AirAsia India is the only one that qualifies," said an official. He added the fact that is was cleared by AERA shows "how blind the organisation is...There is nobody to question them."
We believe in free and open competition and the fact that airports should have the right to do their marketing. Unfortunately, things are not looking too clear nor fair on the airports' front and it is time to have a clear policy.
An idea some might like to mull on - open the HAL airport in Bangalore and see how business rolls! Just a thought.........

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