Friday, August 13, 2021

Domestic air travel costlier by 12.5%

New Delhi: Flying within the country will cost more from Friday the 13th. The aviation ministry late on Thursday night increased both the minimum and maximum domestic airfare levels by 12.5%. The move came along with the government allowing airlines to operate 7.5% more domestic flights, raising their capacity deployment from 65% to 72.5%.

The government had on June 1, 2021, hiked domestic airfares by 15% while slashing flights within the country from 80% of pre-Covid level to 50% at the height of the deadly second wave. During the pandemic, the aviation ministry has been regulating both domestic fares and capacity. With that the second wave ebbing, the domestic capacity was first increased to 65% on July 5. Now capacity domestic deployment and airfares have been hiked by 7.5% and 12.5%, respectively.

As a result, for instance, Delhi-Mumbai one-way minimum fare will rise from Rs 4,700 to Rs 5287.5 and the maximum fare will rise from Rs 13,000 to Rs 14,625 (taxes extra). This is the fourth hike in airfares this year due to spiralling jet fuel prices, the biggest cost item for airlines — with a majority of Indian carriers struggling to survive in the absence of any fiscal support from the government during the pandemic. The range is for economy one-way fares and does not include user development fee of airports, passenger security fees (Rs 150 for domestic) and GST.

When schedule domestic flights resumed after a two-month break on May 25, 2020, the government had asked airlines to start with one-third of pre-Covid time flights and also fixed fare bands to ensure two things — passengers are not fleeced and financially strong airlines do not resort to predatory (below cost) fares to hasten the bankruptcy of weaker ones. Based on flying time, there are seven categories: starting at flights below 40 minutes and going upto 3-3.5 hours.

13/08/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment