A day after Kingfisher Airlines cancelled several flights, grounding hundreds of passengers across the country, the aviation regulator warned other domestic carriers against raising ticket prices.
With Kingfisher Airlines curtailing flights on loss-making routes of its network, the availability of seats on domestic flights has gone down. “Getting low fares tickets would be difficult because the number of domestic flights are fewer. But we don’t want other airlines to exploit the situation,” said Bharat Bhushan, director general, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
From Friday, the aviation regulator will conduct a financial audit of domestic carriers to avoid a Kingfisher-like situation. Airlines with poor financial health will not be allowed to acquire new aircraft.
“We hope to complete the audit within two weeks,” said Bhushan.
Industry experts said that a fare hike appears to be inevitable because it is the peak travel season and the demand for domestic flights is 10% higher than last year.
On Thursday, Kingfisher cancelled ten flights from the city. Wary of last minute
wrangling, fliers are avoiding the airline. Andheri-based entrepreneur Mehul Ratnani, 34, took a Jet Airways flight to Bangalore although the Kingfisher flight around the same time was cheaper by Rs1000. “I did not want to risk a last minute cancellation,” said Ratnani.