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Protect public from predatory airfares: Parliamentary committee to govt

This was in response to the ministry of civil aviation maintaining that “airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff”.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2017 22:20 IST
Air India plane
Air India plane(HT File Photo)

A parliamentary panel on Thursday urged the government to curb predatory airfares and expressed its dissatisfaction over the Centre’s stand that airlines were “free” to fix ticket prices.

A section of parliamentarians has been demanding capping of fares by the airlines, accusing them of inflating airfares during peak travel seasons as well as natural disasters, such as floods.

“The Committee is not satisfied with the reply furnished by the ministry. The Committee may be apprised of the steps taken by the ministry to ensure that the public is protected from predatory airfares,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said in its report, tabled on Thursday.

This was in response to the ministry of civil aviation maintaining that “airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff” and that the aviation regulatory body, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has a monitoring unit to keep an eye on airfares.

The Committee had earlier recommended that India being a developing country cannot follow pricing mechanism of developed countries and therefore, the ministry must consider fixing an upper limit for every sector, especially in the economy class airfares.

It had also highlighted exorbitant fares on flights from Kerala to Gulf countries and appealed to the ministry to intervene.

The ministry of civil aviation has repeatedly maintained in Parliament that government cannot keep a check on airfares as they are governed by market dynamics.