Thursday, March 14, 2019

Airlines warned against predatory pricing

New Delhi: The government has advised domestic airlines not to go in for predatory air fare pricing as several 737-MAX aircraft were grounded due to safety reasons in the wake of a plane crash in Ethiopia.

The development comes after India suspended operations and overflight permission for all Boeing 737-MAX aircraft in India from 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Briefing the media, after a meeting between Civil Aviation Ministry officials with airlines' representatives, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said that all flights operated on Boeing 737-MAX had been grounded.

"We have advised the airlines... that they should not use it (grounding) as a reason to jack up their fares," Kharola told reporters here.

"They have promised they will go as per normal routine. DGCA has just said that it will be monitoring all the sectors very closely... and after monitoring if it is found that pricing is predatory, an advisory will be issued."

However, airfares are already high. The current developments may further push them up.

"The shortage of planes and high seat occupancies are expected to push airfares north in the short term. The fares were at least 15 percent higher this year compared to last year. Owing to the current situation, they are expected to rise further this season," said Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C) of Yatra.com.
13/03/19 daijiworld

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