Concerned over abrupt escalation in air fares by some airlines during high demand, officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will meet in New Delhi soon to review the issue.
“The DGCA has been serious about it. We also expressed our concern and intervened... regarding sudden fare escalation (by some scheduled Indian carriers),” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Monday.
He said officials of the Ministry and the DGCA would meet soon to review the issue.
The fares of some airlines went up by as much as 25 per cent post-Diwali.
Mr. Patel’s statement came days after the DGCA directed the scheduled domestic airlines to furnish route-wise tariff on their entire network in the beginning of each month, in a bid to prevent them from hiking prices abruptly whenever there was heightened demand.
In a circular, the DGCA asked the airlines to “furnish a copy of the route-wise tariff across its network in various fare categories, in the manner it is offered in the market, to DGCA on the first day of every calendar month”.
The circular said that any “significant and noticeable change” in the established tariff already filed, should be reported to the DGCA “within 24 hours of effecting such changes”.
The regulator also asked the airlines to publish air fares on their websites or in daily newspapers on a regular basis.
With suspicions towards cartelisation among airlines emerging after some of them withdrew their low-end air fares last year, the DGCA had then directed all scheduled domestic carriers to give details and justification for their decision to ‘simultaneously’ raise prices.
In February 2009 also, the regulator had shot off letters to all domestic carriers asking for information regarding the hike in airfares and to ensure transparency through advertising.
“Insufficient and inadequate information available in the public domain on airfares” and reports of scheduled airlines charging excessive high tariff for flights across their network during the high demand period was “causing lot of inconvenience to the travelling public and drawing adverse comments on airfares”, the latest DGCA circular said.
It also asked the airlines to maintain all records pertaining to established tariff in its office for inspection.s