Government announces price range based on duration of flights

A UV-based disinfection facility was recently installed at the Kochi airport. Special Arrangement  

The Centre on Thursday set a price range for air tickets, which would be a function of the flight duration when commercial airlines resume operations on May 25. The scale has been divided into seven categories, with the lowest range defined for flights of less than 40 minutes and the highest category set for the longest domestic flights of up to 210 minutes.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, which announced the price range as part of the guidelines prepared ahead of the resumption of flights, laid down several other norms, including a mandatory check in by travellers either online or on the phone before reaching the airport.

Medical details must

They would be allowed to complete the check-in only after providing medical details either through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form. A senior official said passengers would be “nudged” to use Aarogya Setu. To start with, airlines would operate 33% of flights, with operations increasing based on the experience of airlines, airports and other stakeholders.

In order to benefit from the fares close to the minimum (or floor) price determined by the government, passengers would still have to book early. Airlines would have to sell 40% of the tickets below the midpoint of the price range to ensure that the benefit of this formula was passed on to the passengers. The price range for the shortest journey (40 minutes) is ₹2,000 - ₹6,000 and for the longest journey (210 minutes) is ₹6,500 - ₹18,600.

“The minimum fare for Delhi to Mumbai is ₹3,500 and the maximum is ₹10,000. Airlines will have to sell at least 40% of flight tickets below the midpoint, which in this case is ₹6,750,” Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri, illustrated at a press conference.

Airlines divide airfares into different buckets and sell lowest fare buckets to passengers who book the earliest. Airfares move upwards as seats get filled in an aircraft.

Government announces price range based on duration of flights

“We have studied this [pricing mechanism] and looked at corresponding rail fares. Our motive is that air travel should become affordable, it should be within the means of all our citizens to be able to increasingly travel by air,” the Minister said, adding that the government “was equally conscious of the fact that airlines operate on thin margins”. 

Travellers would be allowed to carry one piece each of cabin baggage and checked-in baggage, and if the latter exceeded 20 kg passengers would have to pay an excess baggage fee. 

Also, passengers would neither be able to avail of meal service on board, nor would they be allowed to consume their own eatables, unless there was a specific medical need. 

On the question of whether passengers would need to undergo a mandatory quarantine on arriving at the destination airport, the guidelines merely state: “health protocols as prescribed by the destination States/ UTs” would have to be followed. The minister, however, opposed the idea of a 14-day quarantine at the end of each journey.

 “The issue of quarantine will have to be dealt with in a pragmatic manner. If I fly to Kerala and get quarantined there for 14 days and then again on my return I am quarantined, that’s not practical,” said Mr. Puri.

There was, however, no word from the ministry on the resumption of international flights.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 9:31:50 AM |

Next Story