'Low-cost' carriers in India are no longer what they claim as they have been found charging fares higher than the full service airlines.
The low cost carriers (LCCs) were found to be charging 10 to 50 per cent more than their full service counterparts on some of the routes in the month of August, which usually is considered a lean period for the aviation sector, a study by aviation regulator DGCA said.
IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet and Jet Konnect are the low cost carriers while Air India and Jet Airways are full service carrier. Jet Konnect is the low cost arm of the Jet Airways.
The study was carried out in August by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation to which all airlines have to file their minimum and maximum fare they will charge on specific routes.
Low-cost airlines are usually no-frills and don't offer free meals or in-flight entertainment to passengers while full service carriers (FSC) do.
The LCC quoted more than full service airlines on routes namely Delhi-Goa, Delhi-Visakhapatnam, Mumbai-Bhuj, Delhi- Bhubaneshwar, Port Blair-Chennai, Jabalpur-Delhi and Visakhapatnam-Mumbai.
On Delhi-Goa sector, SpiceJet and IndiGo were charging Rs. 10,006 and Rs. 11,534 respectively while Air India just Rs. 7,847.
Similarly, on Udaipur-Delhi sector, fares of LCC's were more than 100 per cent high than the FSC (Air India). While the national carrier was charging Rs. 4,282 for one way ticket, Jet Konnect was charging Rs. 8,698 and SpiecJet Rs. 5,280.
On Delhi-Port Blair sector, Air India was charging just Rs. 9,407 while SpiecJet Rs. 10,112 and on Vishakhapatnam-Mumbai sector, a SpiceJet ticket would cost Rs. 7,343 and IndiGo Rs. 6,565 while Air India Rs. 5,482.
After going through the tariff citied on their website during August, the DGCA in its report said that "the highest fare offered by Low Cost Carriers is more than the Full Service Carriers."
When asked, an airline official said that the prices were based on demands, and they never exceed the maximum fare bracket filed with the DGCA.