The Civil Aviation Ministry has decided to charge higher aviation security fee (ASF) from domestic as well as international passengers from September 1, senior government officials said on Thursday.
Making the air travel slightly costlier, the officials said the ASF for domestic flyers will be increased to Rs 160 from Rs 150 starting next month, and international passengers will pay 5.2 USD instead of 4.85 USD as the ASF from September 1.
Airlines collect the ASF from passengers when they book their tickets and then give it to the government. The ASF is used to fund the security arrangement at airports across the country. The ministry had increased the ASF last year too.
On June 7, 2019, the ministry said domestic passengers would be charged Rs 150 instead of Rs 130 as the ASF and international passengers would be charged 4.85 USD instead of USD 3.25 as the ASF from July 1, 2019. The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave-without-pay and firings of employees in order to conserve cash. After a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, India resumed domestic passenger flights on May 25. However, the average occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around just 50-60 per cent since May 25.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating with the approval of aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)