BY MALDIVES TRAVELLER
Get ready to loosen your purse strings a tad bit more while on a trip to the Maldives. GMR is set to charge international passengers a USD 25 (MVR 385.5) airport development fee at the departure check-in counters of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport for all flights scheduled after 12 am on January 1, 2012. The fee was previously approved by the government as part of its contract with GMR, said State Transport Minister Adil Saleem.
“This is supposed to be standard procedure in most airports, but I’m not sure that all airports do it. It may depend on their development status. Sometimes it’s collected with the ticket price,” GMR Head of Corporate Communications Mahika Chandrasena was quoted as saying.
To incorporate the fee into ticket prices, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) must provide a specialised code to airlines. Even though local airline operators informed GMR last week that without IATA’s permission they could not charge the fee internally, the codes are awaited.
Administrative Manager for Maldivian Airlines Ali Nashad Ahmed said the airline was “still seeking advice from Civil Aviation on how to proceed” with the fee and customer relations due to the change. The airline expects to receive further instructions within the next week. Though immigration and customs authorities have supported the move, the public is not happy with the higher price.
All passengers except those holding Maldivian passports and work visas will be expected to pay the amount in US dollars. The boarding pass will only be issued after the payment.