Airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff: Centre

Says fare bands were issued as a special measure

Representational Image (Pixabay)

New Delhi:  The Centre on March 28, 2022, said that airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff and fare bands were issued as a special measure to protect the interests of passengers as well as airlines.  

Giving a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K. Singh (Retd) said: “Airfares are not regulated by the Governments. Under the provision of Sub Rule (1) of Rule 135, aircraft Rules 1937, airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff having regard to all relevant factors, including the cost of operation, characteristics of service, reasonable profit, and the generally prevailing tariff. Airfare so established by the airlines is published on their respective website under the provision of Sub Rule (2) of Rule 135, Aircraft Rules 1937.”

The Minister also said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has a Tariff Monitoring Unit that monitors airfares on certain routes on monthly basis to ensure that the airlines do not charge airfares outside a range declared by them.

“During the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the revenue streams of businesses including the aviation sector. Under normal circumstances, airfares are neither established nor regulated by the Government. However, due to the unprecedented circumstances, fare bands with upper and lower limits were introduced by the Government as a special measure. The fare bands serve the dual purpose of protecting the interests of the travelers as well as of the airlines,” Gen. (retd.) Singh said.

He said fare bands are revised to protect the interests of the aviation sector as well as passengers.

“The fare bands were revised from time to time in view of the substantial hike in the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) in order to keep the aviation sector viable while protecting the interests of the passengers.”

The Minister added that presently, fare capping is applicable on a rolling basis for a 15 days’ cycle and the Government regularly reviews the situation.

He said that decisions regarding the domestic scheduled operations and relaxation in fare capping are subject to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the status of operations, and passenger demand for air travel. (Press Release)

 

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