Guwahati airport slashes charges to compete with Kolkata

Guwahati airport to introduce a uniform set of charges for both international and domestic passengers and airlines for the first time in India. The airport which has stopped international flight services two years ago, will resume and aim to attract international flights with the new rates approved by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority, which will be into effect from  January 1, 2014.

According to Indian Express, “The charges for international flights are now less than a third of the rates at Kolkata airport. Its nearest competitor Kolkata airport charges User Development Fee (UDF) of Rs 400 to domestic passengers and Rs 1,000 to international passengers”.

The rates will also mean a benefit for the 5 daily international flights using the Assam based airport which is also seen as the natural gateway to the North Eastern Indian states. Over 30 per cent of around 175 flights from Kolkata airport are international. The uniform charges are in the form of landing and parking charges and UDF.

UDF is charged to bridge the shortfall between revenues earned and cost incurred at an airport.

The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport was refurbished in December 2009 and has the capacity to handle around 5.5 million passengers annually. AAI has announced plans to build another runway at a cost of Rs 500 crore and undertake the city-side development at the Guwahati airport.

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