Airfare to rise along with fuel price, says Praful Patel

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (ANI): Aviation Minister Praful Patel has clearly stated that if the fuel price rises, then the airfare would also rise and the government would not allow exorbitant fares to be charged at any cost by airlines company.

Speaking on the occasion of 100 years of Indian Aviation here on Monday, Patel said that though Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) impacts the cost of flying, the government would interfere if companies charged extraordinary prices for air tickets.

"As far as ATF price is concerned, it directly depends on the fuel price. If the fuel price rises, the airfare would also rise. Therefore, we would only interfere when the aviation companies would demand excessive price on air tickets. Today aviation is quite a big sector in our country and it is because in past few years many airlines have come up with economical airfares due to which numbers of air travel have increased," he added.

Recently, the three major state-owned Oil-Marketing Companies (OMCs) increased the price of jet fuel by two percent, which stood at Rs 48,764 per kilolitre from Rs 47,816 per kilolitre.

Oil companies have increased ATF seven times since October 2010. The last hike was of Rs 935 per kilolitre on January 1.

Patel further said that the aviation ministry's suggestion to the finance ministry for this year's budget would be to slash down sales taxes on ATF and to infuse Rs 2,000 crore equity into the cash-strapped national carrier Air India.

He further said that soon India would have a National Aviation Museum to commemorate the 100th year of the first domestic flight that took off in 1911.

He said the proposed museum, which would be one of the largest aviation museum in the world would be built at Safdarjung airport in New Delhi and work on it would start later this year.

Lightheartedly answering a question on speculations about reshuffling of the Cabinet, Patel said that it's better not to comment on speculations.

"Let the speculations be speculation, I would not like to comment on its basis. I have already said it many times before that I am a minister of Dr. Manmohan Singh's cabinet and I would happily work in which ever portfolio I am bestowed with," he said. (ANI)

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