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Air Travel to Get More Expensive as Air Security Fee Hiked; New Fares Applicable from Today

Passengers wearing protective face masks wait in a queue to enter Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. (REUTERS)

Passengers wearing protective face masks wait in a queue to enter Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. (REUTERS)

The revised fares will come into effect from today and it will be used to pay for the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at airports.

Air travel in India is set to get costlier from today as travellers will have to shell out more money due to a hike in the rates of aviation security fee (ASF) at Indian airports. ASF is one of the components of our airfare and domestic passengers will now have to pasy Rs 200 as ASF from the previous Rs 160. While for international passengers, the component has been increased to USD 12 from USD 5.2. The revised fares will come into effect from today and it will be used to pay for the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at airports. The CISF handles the security aspect at most of the airports in the country and functions under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

While the rise in ASF for domestic passengers is of Rs 40; for international passengers, the rise is approx. Rs 114.38.

According to the Hindustan Times, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) passed the order on March 19. It read, “Aviation Security Fee for domestic passengers will be levied at the rate of Rs 200 per embarking passenger. While the same for international passengers will be at the rate of ‘USD 12 or equivalent Indian Rupees per embarking passenger. The new rates will be effective on tickets issued on or after April 1, 2021.”

Additionally, the order exempts certain categories of travellers/passengers from paying ASF. Among those are children under the age of two years, diplomatic passport holders, airline crew on duty, including sky marshals, persons travelling on official duty on aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force, persons travelling on official duty on United Nations peacekeeping missions and passengers in transit/transfer or those departing from any airport due to involuntary rerouting (i.e. technical problem or weather conditions, among others.

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In little over six months, the ASF saw a revision of its fares. It was last revised in September 2020, where the ASF for domestic flyers was increased by Rs 10 (to Rs 160) and for international passengers, it was increased to USD 5.20 from USD 4.85.