The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday said that it cannot initiate any penal action against airlines if they are found operating as a cartel.
“We can not take any penal action against cartelisation. We have to look at the regulations first,” DGCA director general Naseem Zaidi said at the sidelines of an industry function on Friday.
He said the DGCA is examining if airlines had formed a cartel for fare fixation.
The DGCA had sought answers from domestic airlines about the sudden increase in airfares. “The airlines have written to DGCA stating that the fares were hiked as very few passengers were travelling by air and also because of the lean season,” Zaidi added.
“A meeting chaired by the civil aviation secretary will be held shortly to find out how or why airlines were charging such high fares despite aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices having come down by over 50 per cent since August,” Zaidi said.
Jet fuel prices have fallen from over Rs 71 per litre to about Rs 27 per litre.
It had also asked all domestic carriers to display a composite fare and make fare fixation more transparent.
The DGCA had said “airfares displayed on the respective websites of domestic airlines comprise several components like basic fare, fuel surcharge, congestion charge and passenger service fee all loosely labelled as taxes. This aspect gives an impression to the travelling public that high airfares are due to government taxes.”
“The single fare structure is being looked into and in the meeting with the civil aviation secretary, this issue will also be discussed,” Zaidi said.