Air prices will soon stabilise, says Praful Patel

Mumbai, Dec.4 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Saturday assured the nation that airfares would soon stabilise and rejected a proposal by domestic airlines for a massive hike in airfares.

Patel said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was not just a technical regulatory body, but could also take necessary measures to control sudden price hikes.

"Of course, the DGCA has many powers under Rule 135. It also has a much larger role than just being a technical regulator, and I do not see any reason why if airlines do not fall in line, the DGCA will not be a mute spectator. The DGCA will take necessary action, corrective action," said Patel.

He further said that the DGCA would like airlines to be more transparent and definitive on the airfares being charged.

"This is a sudden spur in demand due to, I would say high economic growth, and again, I would say that the revival of the entire world and domestic economy, and if more people travel, naturally there is demand and supply mismatch but we have said it, and I repeat that it does not mean that passengers should be taken for a ride. Passengers' interest must be protected, will be protected and there is no delay," said Patel.

Patel had earlier said that his ministry would appoint an economic advisory council to advise the DGCA on all issues relating to economic regulations, including airfare, which would be headed by the Civil Aviation Secretary, Nasim Zaidi.

Patel said the economic advisory council would be notified by Monday and its first meeting would be held on Friday.

Almost all travelling operators on Thursday had proposed a massive hike in fares by taking into account the distance factor. By Ankita Dwivedi (ANI)

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