About 650 aircraft, belonging to the likes of IndiGo, Air India and SpiceJet, are parked across the country
A fee of Rs 60 crore.
That is what airlines in India may have to cough up for parking their grounded fleet at airports across India. The fee includes both parking and housing charges that an airline has to pay the airport to park its planes.
While the initial suspension was till March 31, it has been extended after the Prime Minister announced a complete lockdown for 21 days.
It may not look like a huge amount, but for companies who aren't making earning any revenue and were already facing the prospect of incurring losses since the COVID-19 outbreak, the parking fee is substantial. For many, the fee can be used to pay employees.
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Thankfully, there could be some respite in store.
Airlines have approached the government to waive off these parking charges, sources told Moneycontrol. And they may in their right to do so.
“Since the grounding is not attributable to an airline but due to government orders, this charge should be waived off and only normal monthly charges that an airline was paying should apply. To be fair, airports too need revenue to cover housing costs," said Shakti Lumba, an aviation veteran and former Executive Director Airline Operations at Alliance Air, and Vice President Operations at IndiGo.The chargesHow much do the airlines otherwise pay for parking an aircraft?
The charges are laid down by the Airports Authority of India and depend on the weight of the aircraft and also the airport. Usually, there are two rates - one for aircraft weighing up to 100 tonne and the second for heavier ones.
For instance, at the Kolkata airport, airlines have to pay a parking charge of Rs 9 per tonne fee and a housing fee of Rs 17.60 per tonne. This is for aircraft weighing up to 100 tonne. Heavier ones incur parking fee of Rs 11.80 per tonne and a housing fee of Rs 23.60 per tonne.
All the rates, are hourly.
Most single aisle aircraft, including A320, weigh about 70 tonne. The bigger ones, like a Boeing 777, weighs over 200 tonne.
"On an average, the parking charges would range from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 for the smaller aircraft. The bigger ones have to pay as much as Rs 1 lakh a day," said a senior executive.The airlines though hope that these charges will be waived. "This is where the Ministry of Civil Aviation has to step in," said an executive.
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