Centre raises domestic airfare by 10-30%; prices to be implemented till 31 March
The Union Civil Aviation ministry increased the lower limit for flights with a duration of less than 40 minutes to Rs 2,200, and the upper limit in this band was set at Rs 7,800
New Delhi: Passengers will have to shell out more money for air travel from now as the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday increased the lower and upper limits on domestic airfares by 10 to 30 percent.
These new limits will remain "in force up to 31 March, 2021, or until further orders", the ministry said its order on Thursday.
While announcing the resumption of scheduled domestic flights on 21 May 2020, the ministry had placed limits on airfares through seven bands classified on the basis of flight duration.
The first such band consists of flights that are of less than 40 minutes duration. The lower limit for the first band was increased on Thursday from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,200. The upper limit in this band was set at Rs 7,800, which was Rs 6,000 earlier.
The subsequent bands are for flights with durations of 40-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes, 120-150 minutes, 150-180 minutes and 180-210 minutes.
The fresh lower and upper limits set by the ministry for these bands on Thursday were: Rs 2,800-Rs 9,800; Rs 3,300-Rs 11,700; Rs 3,900-Rs 13,000; Rs 5,000-Rs 16,900; Rs 6,100-Rs 20,400; Rs 7,200-Rs 24,200, respectively.
Till date, the lower and upper limits for these bands were: Rs 2,500-Rs 7,500; Rs 3,000-Rs 9,000; Rs 3,500-Rs 10,000; Rs 4,500-Rs 13,000; Rs 5,500-Rs 15,700 and Rs 6,500-Rs 18,600, respectively.
Aviation regulator DGCA had said on 21 May last year that each airline will sell at least 40 percent of its tickets on a flight at prices less than the midpoint between the lower limit and upper limit.
Domestic passenger services resumed on 25 May after nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Along with the limits on airfares, the government had asked the airlines to operate not more than 33 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.
On 26 June, the cap was increased to 45 percent. This was gradually increased to 80 percent. The ministry said on Thursday that the 80 percent limit will remain in place till March-end.
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
All Indian carriers last year took cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay and firing of employees in order to conserve cash.
Scheduled international passenger traffic continues to remain suspended in India since 23 March, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with various countries.
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