A higher fee structure at Hawke's Bay Airport won't be worn by regular flyers, but instead will be absorbed by Air New Zealand.
A new charge of $7 per passenger per landing or departure for regular passenger traffic users, was introduced on October 1.
The airport said its new fees cover operational costs from using the airport facilities, as well as a small percentage which goes towards asset development.
By July 2024, this fee is expected to increase to $9.83 per passenger, but Air New Zealand Group general manager airports Chloe Surridge confirmed there were no plans to increase fares as a result of the change in fee structure.
"Hawke's Bay Airport has changed from charging per aircraft landing, to a per passenger rate, which is not directly comparable.
"We do not pay a landing fee and a passenger levy – just a passenger levy."
The move follows a decrease in passenger numbers for the carrier following Covid-19.
The number of services to and from the region was noticeably down, with 166 one-way services last week, compared with 246 at the same time last year.
A new fee is also set to be introduced for non-regular air transport providers from December 1, this year.
Some non-regular air transport providers will see their landing and parking fees increase from $8.70 to $10 for those under the 1.5 tonne weight band, which some say will "hurt" business.
Those above 15 tonne, will see their landing fees increase from $17.4 per tonne to $18.27 per tonne. Parking charges will remain the same at a fixed rate of $434.78.
Chief executive of Flight Care, Craig Hare, said the price changes had "hurt".
"With the way the industry is and the pain that it's been through, we thought we might get a bit of relief. But no.
"It's not really what we're wanting."
He said there had been no consultation, just a letter informing them of the change.
Shah Aslam, chief executive of Air Napier, said the timing was poor given the industry was still grappling with the effects of lockdown.
It was totally at odds with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's comments about being kind, he said.
"How does a board set up [on behalf of a government and local council-owned company] think it's fair and kind hearted to raise fees by up to 141 per cent without consultation."
Hawke's Bay Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie said the highest increase would only be 124 per cent – not 141 – for a 13.96 tonne plane.
The 141 per cent increase would only apply to 15 tonne planes in the same category, with the fee moving from a fixed rate of $87 to $14 per tonne.
He said Air Napier's largest plane was in the 3-tonne range, which had an average increase of about six per cent, and while Air Napier does handle larger private jets the landing fees are paid by the jet owner.
Aslam said he was concerned operators may choose to fly elsewhere to avoid paying the increased fee.
"Then not only do we lose business, so do other tourism and hospitality operators in Hawke's Bay.
"Why should any operator, using the runway have to face such sharp increases in fees during this time of crisis in the aviation industry?"
Ainslie also refuted Air Napier's view that they hadn't been kind to their customers.
"Most recently we have had a number of productive conversations with airline operators based at Hawke's Bay Airport.
"In fact, during lockdown, a service provider working on site requested relief on their tenancy fees and out of understanding for their situation, we granted this."
It has been four years since the airport adjusted prices for other airfield users.
"To put this in perspective, at most airfield users will pay an additional $20 a day in total across all their flights to use high-quality and costly infrastructure," Ainslie said.
"However, some of our larger light aircraft users will only pay $2 extra a day."
Depending on traffic volumes, the new fee changes were expected to generate an extra $10,000-$20,000 from non-regular air transport providers.
Some of the money from the new passenger fees appears set to go towards the airport's $22.4 million terminal redevelopment project which is hoped to be completed in April.
Construction work is set to begin on a new forecourt on Monday.
The annual 2020 report for Hawke's Bay Airport, shows the company has $18,261,762 current borrowings, a significant increase on $375,738 from 2019.