AIR India's increased fuel surcharge is expected to raise its international airfares, which are already at a high for the October-January peak travel season in India.
Fuel surcharge on flights to North America and Europe has increased by US$20 for a one-way ticket and US$40 for a return ticket. The surcharge in other sectors including Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore has increased by US$10 for a one-way ticket and US$20 for a return ticket.
“Outbound international fliers from Delhi already need to pay a user development fee and airport development fee. The increase in fuel surcharge will further hit the pockets of fliers. However, airlines in India are bound to increase fuel surcharge (from time to time) due to high aviation turbine fuel prices.
“Operating costs for airlines in India are steep. (The) Delhi international airport has become the most expensive airport in the world (today), thanks to the 345.9 per cent hike in aeronautical charges, which include landing, parking, fuel uplift and use of common user terminals tariffs that was implemented in the recent past,” said Subhash Verma, managing director, Travel Plus.
Vineet Gopal, secretary, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India and director Engee Holidays added: “ At this time of the year, the demand for outbound travel is always high but for many travellers, the current fares may seem prohibitive. A round-trip ticket to New York is selling at US$1,800 whereas it normally sells at US$1,250. High fares will certainly impact the length of stay abroad and spending per person on such trips. Indians usually travel with family so the increased cost impact is compounded.”