NEW DELHI: Domestic airfare bands will now remain in place till February 24. Aviation minister H S Puri on Thursday said it has been decided to extend the fare range system by another three months from November 24.
“We can consider removing fare bands if domestic air travel revives fully (to pre-pandemic level) before February 24,” he said.
While the aviation ministry had recently said the 60% cap on deploying domestic flights will be raised to about 75% due to the revival in air traffic, that decision is still awaited. While allowing domestic scheduled flights to resume after a two-month suspension on May 25, the government had fixed minimum and maximum fares for them. Airlines need to sell 40% seats below midpoint of the fare band on each flight.
Based on flying time, there are seven categories: Starting at flights below 40 minutes having a range of Rs 2,000-6,000 and going upto those with flying time of 3-3.5 hours with a range of Rs 6,500-18,600. Delhi-Mumbai, one of the world’s busiest domestic air routes, falls in a category with fare range of Rs 3,500-10,000. Airlines will need to sell 40% seats at below the mid-point of Rs 6,750.
“Fares will be regulated and will be in a fixed range. In the past we have seen airfares often being very low or very high and used to get complaints. Delhi-Mumbai (one-way) has gone low as Rs 1,100. After lot of deliberation, we arrived at a very realistic fare range to strike a balance between affordability for passengers and the business models with thin margin of airlines operating in a high operating cost environment,” Puri had said while announcing the fare band system in May-end.
In Video:Domestic flight operations will reach pre-Covid levels by Diwali or end of year: Civil aviation ministerSource From : Times Of India