The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday asked airlines to reduce fares on 10 domestic routes to “reasonable levels”. The aviation watchdog said airfares on these routes have risen by up to 30% over the last month, PTI reported.
Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said the authority reviewed airfare fluctuations in 40 high-density sectors in the country. It compared current fares to the ticket prices during the period from March 7 to March 14, and found that on 10 routes, prices rose by 10% to 30%.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation asked airlines to reduce fares after a meeting with representatives of several carriers.
An unidentified aviation official told PTI that the watchdog will monitor airfares on a daily basis and has asked airlines to keep a tab on prices from their end. “Airline representatives also intimated DGCA that they have removed the few higher buckets from sale and are offering tickets to passengers in lower fare buckets,” he added.
Kharola said around 21 aircraft are likely to be added to the fleet of domestic carriers by the end of May. As many as eight planes have been introduced since the beginning of March, he added.
Airfares have risen as debt-ridden Jet Airways has grounded most of its planes. Kharola said some carriers are in discussions with lessors to take the Jet Airways’ planes whose registrations have been cancelled. There will be a “good number” of aircraft to cater to consumer demand during the peak season, he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu had directed Kharola to conduct a review of matters related to Jet Airways and take necessary measures to ensure passenger rights and safety. He said flight cancellations and increase in fares should be examined. On Monday, Jet Airways’ lenders failed to arrive at a consensus on its plea for emergency funding.
Meanwhile, reports emerged on Tuesday that the airline’s founder, Naresh Goyal, withdrew his bid to once again acquire a stake in the carrier.