Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Ensure no airline sells domestic tickets below minimum fare of price band: Airlines to Centre

New Delhi: Don’t sell domestic tickets below the minimum fare band and keep the cap at 80% of pre-Covid levels for flights within the country for now. With bookings down by half already so far during the ongoing Civid surge, the CEOs of Indian carriers held a virtual meeting with aviation secretary P S Kharola on Monday to send these SOS messages. An extremely vulnerable private airline has been seeking lowering of cap on domestic flights to at least 60% and has sought financial assistance to survive the second wave.

“Airlines have been often selling tickets to travel agencies / portals (business to business or B2B) at rates lower than the minimum fares prescribed by the government. These B2B fares are not made public but this has been happening. Airlines sought strict DGCA monitoring to ensure airlines don’t sell domestic tickets below fare band even on B2B mode,” said people aware of what transpired at the meeting.

Some financial weak airlines — which almost every carrier except IndiGo with its own cash reserves or the Tata JVs and Wadia Group’s GoAir that have strong backing — are sought a financial assistance package from the government to survive the second wave. “There has been absolutely no financial assistance from government for airlines since Covid outbreak last year,” said an airline official.

13/04/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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