Private airport operators have asked the government to allow levying a fee on each flight ticket to cover expenses made by them to screen arriving passengers for coronavirus symptoms. The operators which include firms managing the country's main aviation getaways like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have pitched for provisioning of an "airport operator alleviation package" to meet its additional expenditure.
Private airports body Association of Private Operators (APAO) has argued that airports are facing immediate cash flow pressures in the wake of flights cancelled by airlines but it does not have flexibility to reduce operating expense given that they are fixed in nature.
The APAO has said that while airlines can choose to cancel flights or relocate their aircraft to other markets to reduce operating costs, airports face immediate cash flow pressures with limited ability to reduce fixed cost and few resources to fund capacity expansion efforts for longer term future growth.
"For privately held airports, the situation is even worse as they do not benefit from relief measures but are obliged to continue paying concession fee," said the airports grouping.
With coronavirus spreading to nearly 110 countries and India quarantining itself by suspending all visas except few categories, travel, aviation and tourism sectors have been worst hit.