Regulator asks airlines not to increase fares

July 16th, 2012 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The aviation regulator Monday asked all airlines not to raise fares and keep ticket prices under the prescribed bands.

The instruction came after reports surfaced that domestic airlines had increased fares following cancellation of Kingfisher flights and the rise in agent booking charges.

“The prices were impacted marginally in last week as capacity in some sectors reduced. This was mainly due to Kingfisher cancelling some flights,” sources in DGCA told IANS.

However, the aviation regulator in a statement said there was no rise in air fares over the last few days.

“The DGCA had done study of air fares and concluded that the airfare offered by various scheduled domestic airlines on different sectors remained within the fare bands available on their respective websites,” the statement said.

The statement further said that air fares for flights to and from New Delhi were impacted in the last 15 to 20 days as a result of increase in user development fee (UDF) and service tax.

On April 24, the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) allowed an escalation of 345 percent in aeronautical charges which allows the airport operator to collect Rs.200 from departing domestic and Rs.1,300 from departing international passengers. The charges became applicable in May.

“Fares for 14 days in advance of the journey are still available in the lowest fare buckets. Random monitoring of air fares by DGCA has not revealed an alarming trend,” the statement added.

Earlier, on May 11 the aviation regulators had warned airlines not to hike fares as Air India and Kingfisher were facing labour troubles. The DGCA had established a specialised air fares monitoring cell to keep a watch over the prices all the time.

Airlines have also been advised to display accurate fares on their websites.

Airline may invite penal action if it is found that the company was indulging in predatory or price fixing under Aircraft Rules of 1937.

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