Cancellations drive up air fares, DGCA keeping watch

November 17th, 2011 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) India’s aviation watchdog Thursday said it was monitoring air fares which have hit a high due to flight cancellations by major airlines.

“We have been monitoring air fares, which are currently on the highest slab due to flight cancellations by major airlines,” E.K. Bharat Bhushan, director general, Civil Aviation (DGCA), told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event here.

“Whenever we find them (airlines) going above the highest (price), we nudge them,” Bhushan added.

Earlier the DGCA had made it mandatory for all airlines to publish the highest and lowest limits of price for all the respective classes for every flight on their websites and in newspapers.

This was done to curb the practice of predatory and spot prices which sometimes increase air fares by huge margins.

According to Bhushan, the DGCA is also monitoring the flight operations of all airlines on the respective slots allotted to the carriers in the ongoing winter schedule.

“We are reviewing the slot position as well. We have asked airports to give details of slots not being utilised by any airline. I am expecting them to give it in a day or two,”Bhushan said adding that the slots may be transferred to other airlines.

On the question of Kingfisher Airlines curbing its daily operations by 50 flights to reduce losses, Bhushan said: “Every airline is bound by route dispersal guidelines and the government will take a decision on it.”

This development comes as airline major Kingfisher has started to curb its daily flights for more than a week and other airlines like Indigo and Spice Jet have also cancelled a huge number of flights from the permitted daily operation level by the DGCA.

The DGCA said it has received the replies from the airlines on flight cancellations. The aviation watchdog had earlier issued a notice to all the three airlines regarding flight cancellations.

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