The minister's comments come against the backdrop of many carriers resorting to steep discount on tickets to stimulate demand in the face of stiff competition.
This move by DGCA comes after much back and forth over air fare regulation.
Sharma said his ministry has conducted no analysis to find out if airlines actually passed on this reduction in ATF prices to consumers because the government does not regulate airfares.
Jet Airways has announced discounted fares on international routes starting Rs8,773 (all inclusive) and customised travel packages for domestic destinations for immediate travel on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.
A week after Jet Airways and Air India decided to slash airfares in a bid to take on new competitor Vistara, low-cost carrier GoAir too has launched a promotional scheme, offering fares as low as Rs 1,468.
The minister now wants a probe into the entire business of frequent fare discounts. A senior ministry official told Firstbiz that the present system of discounting fares by airlines reeked of "predatory pricing" and needs to be checked. He said the minister will not be asking aviation regulator DGCA to conduct a probe but task officials of the ministry to do this.
We strongly believe that the DGCA must put an end to this practice of offering ridiculously low fares, the body said
Also, the second issue of some states seeking lower fares on flights to their airports in return for waiving sales tax on jet fuel has also been partially resolved. Airlines will not offer lower fares but will mount more flights to these states to increase connectivity.<br /><br />
Flying from Mumbai is going to get costlier from next month as the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) has approved a 154 percent hike in landing and parking charges at Mumbai's airport and, introduced a steep user development fee (UDF) on passengers departing from the city.
SITA's Total Fares Management provides electronic distribution to industry pricing engines at the touch of a button.