Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Kiwi travellers face hike in airport fees

Dubai international airport, home to the national carrier Emirates Airways - will soon be charging a $13.50 per passenger traveller tax. Photo / Karim Sahib / Getty
Dubai international airport, home to the national carrier Emirates Airways - will soon be charging a $13.50 per passenger traveller tax. Photo / Karim Sahib / Getty

Travellers through two of the world's biggest airports popular with Kiwis face a hike in charges.

From June 30 Dubai will impose a passenger charge equivalent to about $13.50 - the first tax on travellers by the Emirate - which will also apply to those in transit.

Airlines have already started collecting the fees which will be used to fund projects at the airport, the world's busiest international airport with 78 million passengers in the past year.

Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the airport is set to reach 100 million passengers by 2023, and the funds would be used to support expansion projects such as the Concourse D, the expansion of Terminal 2 and the renovation of Terminal 1.

Passengers below two years old, cabin crew and those in transit whose arrival and departure flight numbers are the same are exempt from paying the fee.

New Zealanders mainly fly though Dubai on Emirates services which then fly on to dozens of ports in Europe.

Hong Kong this month announced it was pushing up its charges from August 1 to fund the building of a $25 billion third runway which is set to ease congestion.

It already charges a $22 fee and an extra $16 "airport construction fee" will be imposed on long haul economy tickets and is nearly double that for business class passengers. Transit and short haul passengers will pay slightly less.

Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific fly through Hong Kong Airport daily and from November will be joined by Hong Kong Airlines.

Passengers waiting to board their plane at Dubai International Airport. Photo / Getty
Passengers waiting to board their plane at Dubai International Airport. Photo / Getty

The fee collection will remain in effect until all borrowings related to the third runway project have been fully repaid.

Last year Hong Kong handled 68.5 million passengers and the extra runway is expected to boost these to 102 million passengers.

Airports are scrambling to increase capacity to cope with soaring numbers of air travellers in most parts of the world.

In the past year there were close to 3.57 billion passengers carried on scheduled flights and this is forecast to grow by 6 per cent in the coming year.

While Dubai and Hong Kong are putting up airport fees, latest figures show airfares continue to fall. International Air Transport Association data for May shows that in the past 12 months airfares fell 5 per cent, helped by relatively low oil prices.

- NZ Herald

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