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Stung by the three-fold hike in aeronautical tariff to use the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, various airlines of the country have jointly moved the Delhi High Court contending that it will not only hit their operations but also adversely affect the Indian economy.

 The airlines have challenged the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority’s (AERA) April 24 order of three-fold hike in the aeronautical tariff, contending that it is unlawful as the tariff has been raised without following the basic norms of the regulated sectors like independent audit prudence check.

The AERA order permits GMR-promoted Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAl) to increase the aeronautical tariff, which comprises various airport charges like those for landing, parking, housing and ground handling etc, by 345 per cent.

 The plea made by airlines jointly under the banner of Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) is to be heard by the high court on July 10.

 In their petition, the airlines have pleaded with the court that the hike would prove to be the death knell for many airlines already reeling under severe financial strains.

 “Some airlines may not be able to survive and would be under serious financial stress,” the petition said.

 “The decision will make it very difficult for airlines to recover such high tariff particularly in the present-day scenario when economic and financial situation of airlines is bad,” the FIA added.

 The airlines added that a 345 per cent hike in aeronautical tariff will not merely jeopardise the airport operations but will also have an adverse impact on India and its economy.

 “It will make IGI airport as the most expensive airport in the world,” the FIA said adding that the escalation of tariff will lead to decline in demand of the IGI airport and it will result in fall in tourist arrival, consequently impacting the trade and tourism industry.

 This step would damage local and international airlines connectivity, the FIA added.

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