Domestic Air Travel Gets Expensive, Limits on Airfare Up By 10-30%
“The revised limits would remain in force up to 31 March 2021, or until further orders”, the Ministry said.
In a move that would bring a big relief to financially troubled airlines, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday, 11 February, increased the minimum and maximum airfares across all bands which would result in costlier air travel for passengers at least till 31 March reported The Indian Express.
As per a notification issued on Thursday, the lower and upper limits on airfares have been increased by 10 percent to 30 percent.
Fare restrictions were imposed by Centre when they reopened domestic air travel in May, via bands, for flights in order to ensure that dynamic pricing does not hurt the consumer.
On Thursday, the lower limit for the first band was increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,200 consisting of flights that are of less than 40-minute duration. The upper limit in this band was set at Rs 7,800, which was Rs 6,000 earlier.
The subsequent bands are for flights with durations of 40-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes, 120-150 minutes, 150-180 minutes and 180-210 minutes.
“The revised limits would remain in force up to 31 March 2021, or until further orders”, the Ministry was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Last month, the government reportedly allowed airlines to sell only 20 percent of the tickets below the median fare.
Welcoming the positive move, airline executives said that the government should soon do away with the restrictions.
A senior official of a low-cost airline told The Indian Express that there’s enough demand in the market to let it decide the air fares. He further said that earlier on, these restrictions were necessary but now they don’t make sense.
“The increase is a relief naturally because we are seeing fuel prices rise and this will allow us to raise base fares as per the new median range,” he was quoted as saying.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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