Airlines have decided to withdraw the transaction cost levied on air-ticket booking, a move that would bring down airfare ranging from Rs 350 to Rs 10,000 per ticket.
The country’s three largest air carriers — Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and state-run Air India — on Tuesday announced their plans to withdraw the transaction fee. The other carriers are expected to follow suit.
“We have decided to withdraw the transaction fees that ranged from Rs 350 for an economy class domestic ticket to Rs 10,000 that was charged for a first class ticket for the US or Europe,” Jitendra Bhargava, executive director, Air India said.
The reduced fares will come into effect from Wednesday.
Spokespersons of Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines said the airlines will not levy transaction fee for bookings done through their websites, city ticket centres and call centres.
Air India is also planning to cut airfare and a decision will be made shortly, Bhargava said.
The decision comes barely three days after civil aviation minister Praful Patel asked airlines to cut fares reflecting lower prices of aviation turbine fuel in recent weeks.
The transaction fee was being levied from November 1, 2008 at the instance of travel agents who were affected when airlines decided to withdraw commission paid to them.
Most travel agents are believed to be not charging transaction fee with the hope that the commission system will be revived.
Following pressure from travel agents, Air India and Jet Airways had agreed to levy transaction fee from passengers directly booking with them so as to bring parity in prices.