Airlines quizzed on fare hike during Air India stirMay 13th, 2011 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) The Competition Commission of India (CCI) Friday met representatives of private airlines seeking an explanation for the sudden hike in fares during the 10-day strike by Air India pilots which ended earlier this month, an official said.
“Our officers have met the private airline officials. Notices were issued to them on Tuesday to explain why the sudden price surges took place when Air India’s domestic operations were disturbed,” a senior official with the competition watchdog told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Private airlines were alleged to have hiked their fares to cash in on the strike. Thousands of passengers, stranded after their Air India flights were cancelled, were forced to shell out between 50 percent and 75 percent more for bookings.
Passengers complained that the base fare on a Delhi-Mumbai flight, which goes up to Rs.2,400-Rs.3,000 for last-minute bookings, had gone up to as much as Rs.7,500 on some airlines — resulting in a total one-way cost of Rs.11,500, including various levies.
The CCI also took cognizance of the notification issued by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which asked airlines to publish a spectrum of their ticket prices - including the highest and lowest fares that were permanent and could not be superseded under any circumstances.
Meanwhile, consumer rights protection groups have welcomed the move and said that hiking of prices by private airlines was a common practice which needed to be rectified.
“This is a common practice of these guys. But I feel it would be difficult for the CCI to prove any collusion or intent on the part of airlines, as we know demand for seats are high and especially after the Air India strike,” said Pradeep Mehta, secretary general of Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).
According to some aviation analysts, while Air India’s domestic market share had dwindled to just 14.5 percent, the airline still had considerable presence in terms of aircraft and seats offered on some major metro routes, scarcity of which may have also caused an upward swing in prices.
- Airlines asked to explain on price hike by May 25 - May 14, 2011
- Private airlines told not to hike fares - May 02, 2011
- Air India cancels 165 flights as pilots continue strike - May 02, 2011
- Regulator asks airlines not to increase fares - Jul 16, 2012
- Air India operates 210 domestic flights, lower fares to continue - May 10, 2011
- Air India operates 216 domestic flights, lower fares to continue (Lead) - May 10, 2011
- Air India cancels 150 flights as pilots' strike continues (Lead) - Apr 30, 2011
- Air India to deploy wide-bodied aircraft on domestic routes - May 09, 2011
- Air India to deploy wide-bodied aircraft on domestic routes (Lead) - May 09, 2011
- Air India pilots strike: Stand off continues, 100 flights cancelled - Apr 29, 2011
- Airlines advised not to hike fares: DGCA - May 11, 2012
- Air India cancels 150 flights as pilots continue strike (Second Lead) - May 01, 2011
- AI employees suffer as strike continues for 19th day (Lead) - May 26, 2012
- Airlines slash ticket prices after government intervenes - Dec 05, 2010
- DGCA asks airlines to be reasonable, transparent on airfares - Dec 04, 2010
Tags: air india, airline officials, civil aviation, cognizance, competition commission, competition watchdog, dgca, directorate general, domestic market share, domestic operations, fare hike, india strike, last minute bookings, pradeep, private airline, private airlines, protection groups, quizzed, rs 2, trust society