New Delhi: Air travel will be costlier April 1 onwards as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has hiked air security fee (ASF). The rise in ASF for domestic passengers will be Rs 40 while for international passengers holders it will be Rs 114.38. This information was given by the DGCA in a statement, released recently. The rise comes at a time when most airlines are offering pocket-friendly fares for domestic passengers to travel.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) takes care of the security at most airports in India under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Children under the age of two years, holders of diplomatic passports, airlines crew on duty, persons travelling on official duty on aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), persons travelling on official duty on United Nations peacekeeping missions, passengers in transit of transfer or those departing from any airport due to involuntary rerouting (i.e. technical problem or weather conditions) are exempted from paying ASF.
The ASF rates have been revised after approximately six months. In September 2020, the ASF for domestic flyers had been increased by Rs 10 (to Rs 160). For international passengers, it was increased to US$ 5.20 from US$ 4.85.
The hike comes at a time the domestic aviation industry has been severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the international sector remains closed since May last year. Though the domestic sector reopened on May 25, 2020, the flight capacity remains around 80 per cent. Moreover, even though domestic air travel is struggling to meet pre-COVID-19 level, the government increased the lower limit of the airfare band by 35 per cent within a month. The government introduced the fare bands while reopening domestic travel last year with pocket-friendly airfares in order to encourage more people to travel.