Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said there is no proposal at present to interfere with the current regulatory framework for airfares.
Air ticket prices are not regulated by the government and are market driven, with airlines having freedom to fix reasonable fares after taking into consideration various factors, including cost of operation.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Scindia said airlines remain compliant with the regulatory provisions under Aircraft Rules, 1937 as long as the fare charged by them does not exceed the fare established and displayed on their websites.
“The recent increase in airfare has been noticed in a few sectors, primarily driven by seasonality and demand-supply constraints. Further, the increase in airfare is also attributable to increase in fuel prices. Government has taken steps to sensitise the airlines,” he said.
According to him, the airfares in these select sectors are monitored on daily basis and as a result of which they have shown a declining trend.
“There is no proposal at present to interfere with the existing regulatory framework on airfare,” he said.
Recently, concerns were expressed in certain quarters about a steep rise in airfares on certain routes, especially in the wake of the grounding of budget carrier Go First.
In a separate written reply, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh said the suspension of operations by Go First resulted in capacity constraints.
“In the wake of suspension of operations by Go First, airlines have been advised to self regulate the air fares and maintain reasonable price levels and also to introduce new flights on the sectors that had substantial number of Go First flights,” he said.
While responding to a query about surge in airfares following the recent train accident in Odisha, Singh said that airlines were advised to monitor and take necessary action in case of any abnormal surge in airfares to and from Bhubaneswar.
“The airlines were advised to keep passenger interest in mind and exercise moderation. The airfares were monitored on daily basis and as a result of which the fares have shown a declining trend,” he noted.
To another query, the minister said that in the recent past, the government has received references including from the Kerala chief minister requesting necessary approvals for charter flights to be operated for transport of non-resident Keralites from Gulf countries to India.
“If and when received, charter flights are generally approved under the Inclusive Tour Package (ITP) guidelines. There are no specific requests for operation of charter aircraft on India-Gulf sector pending with this ministry as of 13.07.2023,” Singh said.
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