Airfares should drop further: Govt | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Airfares should drop further: Govt

Officials of the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) on Saturday rejected outright the plea of some of the private airlines that when the prices of potatoes and tomatoes and indeed all commodities were rising, airfares could not be kept low.

delhi Updated: Dec 06, 2010 00:21 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times

Officials of the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) on Saturday rejected outright the plea of some of the private airlines that when the prices of potatoes and tomatoes and indeed all commodities were rising, airfares could not be kept low.

The DGCA had summoned the airlines following the controversy over the exorbitant fares they charged on certain routes.

DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan added profiteering by airlines would be punished, sources said.

Within hours, there was a dramatic correction in airfares, which fell by as much as 25%.

Officials attribute the change not only to the DGCA’s bluntness, but also to the relentless pressure exerted on private carriers by civil aviation minister Praful Patel and secretary Nasim Zaidi.

As first reported by Hindustan Times, airfares on most routes were back in the Rs 6,000-9,000 bracket by Saturday evening. Airlines, however, are not happy. “We have to meet the cost of operations,” said an airline CEO, who did not want to be quoted.

But top Ministry officials told Hindustan Times prices needed to be brought further down.

While a ticket from Delhi to Mumbai for Monday was available for as little as Rs 5,500 on Sunday evening, officials acknowledged tickets bought at the last minute were still being priced at as much as Rs 19,000.