Poor infrastructure at Indian airports cost airlines USD80 MN


Mumbai : Infrastructure bottlenecks in airports force aircraft to hover in the skies for far too long, resulting in a loss of around USD 80 million to the industry every year, a top aviation industry official said.

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“Gaps in infrastructure lead to 5-10 per cent more flying time for aircraft, which means a cost of USD 80 million per annum to the airlines,” Jet Airways executive Director Saroj Datta said at a function to mark the 103rd birth anniversary of JRD Tata, leading industrialist and the first Indian to fly an aeroplane.

Jet Airways alone incurs a loss of about USD 25 million per annum, he added.

On challenges before the aviation industry, he highlighted the shortage of trained personnel, non – availability of secondary airports and the competitive pressure on full service carriers to reduce fares on par with low-cost carriers.

Datta observed that the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) charges comprise 35-40 per cent of the operating cost for airlines and was higher compared to those in other countries.

“The cost of ATF in Delhi and Mumbai is USD 755 and USD 780 respectively as compared to USD 455 and USD 497 in Singapore and Dubai,” he said.

Quoting estimates of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), an industry body, he said losses for the industry in fiscal 2006-07 was USD 500 million and in the current financial year, the industry is expected to bear similar losses.

He said air cargo operations, maintenance and repair besides ground handling business were the growth opportunities for the industry.