Praful Patel says, new fares suggested by airlines can't be justified

New Delhi, Dec.3 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Friday that the new fares suggested by airlines cannot be justified and the Government has taken a serious notice of the suggestions.

Earlier, the domestic airlines had proposed a massive rise in ticket prices, ignoring the Government's calls not to resort to exorbitant fares.

The new fares have been submitted for review to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Patel said the Government has found airlines are trying to take undue advantage of passengers by increasing their fares.

He further said a new economic advisory council has been set up to oversee fares and economic regulations.

Civil Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi will head the council, which will include the CEOs of airlines, representatives of consumer forums, and members of the DGCA.

The Civil Aviation Minister said airlines are entitled to raise fares closer to the date of travel, so a passenger who books later pays more for a ticket.

He also said that he would like to see a fair balance between the needs and rights of passengers and airlines.

If the proposed airfare gets approval by the ministry and the DGCA, the fares may see a 300 percent hike.

Most of the airlines have proposed price bands in four slabs of distances.

The airlines have proposed fares and distances under these slabs: up to 750 km: low cost carrier (LCC) fares' starting from Rs 2,200 and full service carrier (FSC) maximum of Rs 13,000; between 750-1,000 km: Rs 3,000(LCC)-Rs 20,000 (FSC); between 1,000-1,400 km:Rs 4,000 (LCC)-Rs 25,000 (FSC); and over 1,400 km:Rs 5,000 (LCC)-Rs 40,000 (FSC).

The domestic airlines came out with the proposal after they were asked by the DGCA to submit the planned price bands on various sectors after some of them resorted to steep hike in airfares. (ANI)

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