The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday said it will monitor airline fares on a daily basis after the government grounded all aircraft of Boeing 737 Max 8. Ministry of Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said the government will ensure that grounding of aircraft does not affect passengers or operations.
As many SpiceJet flights were cancelled on Wednesday, Kharola said Thursday will be a “real challenging day”. Nearly 30 SpiceJet flights will be affected, he added.
SpiceJet, which has 12 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet, said it will adjust most passengers in its own flights. However, other operators have said they will pitch in if the need arises.
“We have requested that fares by airlines be kept at a reasonable price,” DGCA chief BS Bhullar said, according to HTN Tiranga TV. “Ministry of Civil Aviation secretary will monitor that.”
Kharola said the airlines have been advised to keep normal fares and if predatory fares are charged, an advisory will be issued to airlines.
Bhullar said lifting the ban on the aircraft will be taken based on advise from various agencies. “All regulators across the globe took steps according to their ecosystem. We have robust mechanism in place. We are in touch with manufacturers and regulators and revised the safety measures,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, SpiceJet had announced that it has decided to cancel 14 flights after the DGCA asked all carriers to ground their Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet. The directive came days after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed after takeoff from Addis Ababa airport, killing all 157 passengers on board.