Lufthansa Airlines is not new to the Indian market. The German carrier has seen the Indian aviation market for more than 55 years now. With increasing influx of foreign carriers in the country, Lufthansa too is gearing up to offer better products and services in this market. With India being one of the top 5 markets for the airline, it is optimistic about the growth in the sector as the new government takes charge. In dna’s ongoing series of interviews, Wolfgang Will, director – South Asia, shares his company’s plans, and views on policy rejigs required in the country with Yuga Chaudhari.
What are the key immediate steps that the new government should take for the aviation industry?
If you ask an airline operator, he will always repeat and talk about high taxation and fees in India. That’s always for us an area that is worrying. High fuel prices, too, unfortunately have been increasing constantly in the last five years. But that’s not just in India. Each and every country’s government is very creative when it comes to tax. There will be taxes on passengers, tourists, environment tax etc. In Germany, we have a lot of tax. In every country, I don’t know why they think that there should be additional tax on aviation.
So expect some relief here. Actually, it’s more challenging for domestic airlines who are struggling.
Last two years has also seen hike in airport fees. There are all kinds of taxes – landing fees, parking fees, passenger fees, etc, are a burden for us. If it’s a burden for foreign airlines, then we can only imagine how difficult it is for local airlines. No wonder, passengers complain about high fares.
The aviation policy should look at the potential of India and help in that direction. National airlines can make better business and policies should help them.
Full interview here DNA