Thursday, February 21, 2013

Airline rate wars: Govt won’t step in, but will set up fare cell

New Delhi: The morning after Jet Airways unleashed an unprecedented fare war in domestic skies, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said his ministry had no plans to interfere in this.
But at the same time, he said the ministry is setting up a fare cell to monitor fare buckets and will consult airlines about bringing more transparency to fares.So is the “we-will-not-interfere” stand a smokescreen for the minister to now control air fares too?
He has already been roundly criticised for trying to control capacity addition by airlines because under a new system the aircraft cleared for import by the Aircraft Acquisition Committee (AAC) in the ministry still need final clearance from the minister himself.
Earlier this week, top official sources had told Firstpost that though air fares are not regulated, the ministry wants to conduct a detailed study of how fare buckets – which means the fare range from lowest to highest in a sector – are created.
20/02/13 Sindhu Bhattacharya/First Post