Sunday, November 18, 2012

Diwali air fares set off government probe

New Delhi: Alarmed by the rocketing air fares this Diwali, aviation minister Ajit Singh on Saturday ordered a probe into the pricing mechanism of airlines, saying "there must be some reasonableness and limit" despite the demand-supply maths. Alongside, the Competition Commission of India may look into complaints that airlines acted as a cartel to push up prices in the festive season.
On Diwali eve, economy-class tickets from Mumbai to Kolkata went for up to anything between Rs 35,000 and Rs 43,000, while business class tickets cost over Rs 60,000. A Delhi-Ahmedabad economy ticket of a full-service airline on Diwali was between Rs 6,500 and Rs 39,000.
"I have received complaints of overcharging. Airlines have a system of putting seats in different fare buckets (fares rise as an aircraft gets filled). The range of fares in this bucket system must have some logic," said Singh.
18/11/12 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India