Dubai: Fees paid by airlines, including Emirates and flydubai, to use Dubai International are under review and could be increased, the Chief Executive of operator Dubai Airports told Gulf News on Monday.
“We are looking at what may well result in us having to make a small increase in the aeronautical charges,” Paul Griffiths said in an interview at Dubai International.
The review comes four months after Griffiths said Dubai International, owned by the Dubai government, would not follow Bahrain, who at the time was reportedly looking at increasing airport charges because of the falling oil price.
In October, Griffiths said: “There is no relativity in my mind between the price of oil and the charges we put at the airport.”
On Monday, he maintained his position even with oil now sitting $35 a barrel, nearly $20 less than the high seen in October.
“We will have to look at fees as we invest more in our infrastructure,” he said.
Dubai International is being expanded to handle 100 million passengers by 2020 at a cost of $7.8 billion, and on Monday Griffiths said capacity would be increased further to 118 million passengers a year by 2023.
Nasser Saidi, former Chief Economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), told Gulf News by phone increasing airport charges is one way for regional governments to raise revenue as the oil price remains weak.
But he warned that “any cost or price increase needs to be looked at very carefully to avoid damaging the competitiveness of Dubai” due to the rising dollar, which the UAE dirham is pegged to.