Praful Patel warns airlines against cartelisation

February 11th, 2009 - 3:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) A day after Indian carriers, including budget airlines, decided to withdraw their promotional fares and hiked the base tariff, the government Wednesday warned operators against “cartelisation”.”The government is against any cartelisation among airlines. We will watch and take strict action in any such case,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said in a statement.

He also assured that the national carrier Air India would “never be a part” of any move that is tantamount to cartelisation. “We will ensure that competitive pricing ensures better prices to the passengers.”

Patel’s comment comes a day after Indian carriers, including budget airlines decided to withdraw their promotional fares, which in some cases were as low as Rs.99 excluding taxes, and hiked their base tariff by up to Rs.2,000 per ticket on some sectors.

The minister had made a similar statement when two dominant carriers - Jet Airways and Kingsisher Airlines - announced that they will be synergising their operations to tide over the difficult times facing the Indian aviation space.

This had led to fears of cartelisation.

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