The directive came at a meeting DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan held with senior officials of private airlines, following complaints that exorbitant spot-fares being charged by the carriers in the wake of cancellation of Air India flights due to the ongoing pilots' strike.
The spot fares or the last moment air ticket prices are those which are charged two hours before the scheduled departure of a flight.
Air ticket prices on private carriers currently range between Rs 9,000-18,000 on most sectors. Cost of a Mumbai- Delhi ticket, which is a high-density sector, ranges between Rs 9,000-15,000. Similarly, Mumbai-Bangalore is priced at Rs 13,000-15,000.
"I have told them that there should not be a jump in airfares, basically the spot fares should not be exorbitant.
These should not be more than the maximum fare published on their website," Bhushan told PTI soon after the meeting.
Maintaining that there were around 14-15 fare buckets, he said the spot fares should not be more than that charged at the highest fare bucket.
With the private carriers currently operating with around 70-75 per cent of seat load factor, the DGCA asked them to come up with the routes, where Air India has cancelled its flights, they wanted to operate. The national carrier has a market share of about 15 per cent.
"In the wake of ongoing pilots' strike, I have decided to allow them to fly on temporary basis on the routes on which Air India has cancelled their flights," Bhushan said, adding, "I have asked them to come by 5 pm tomorrow with the route plan."
Bhushan said the sectors, left out by Air India, can be taken care of by the private carriers to fly passengers.