Congestion in the skies will cost you Rs 150

Airline passengers will have to brace for an increase in travel costs despite a cut in aviation fuel prices. Major carriers like Jet Airways, Indian, Kingfisher and Air Sahara have decided to impose a ‘congestion surcharge’ of Rs 150 per coupon, effective December 1. This would be charged over and above the existing fuel surcharge of Rs 750. Low-cost carriers like Air Deccan and Indigo are expected to follow suit in a couple of weeks.

ATF prices have been softening over the past two months, in tandem with the reduction in international crude oil prices, which dropped to a low of around $56 early this month. PSU fuel suppliers have cut prices by 2.5% for domestic airlines and 1.5% for international carriers. ATF prices are fixed by the companies every month and this is the third successive cut since September. The cost of ATF has reduced by 17% for the domestic airline companies and by 14% for the international carriers since then. However, passengers have yet to benefit from the fall.

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