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ANSWERED ON:  05.12.2019
Exorbitant Airfare
Achyutananda Samanta
Will the Minister of

CIVIL AVIATION be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the Government is aware that the airlines are charging exorbitant rate during the peak season, if so, the details thereof and the action taken thereon;

(b) whether the Government proposes to fix a maximum charge for tickets to each destination and if so, the details thereof and the action taken in the matter so far; and

(c) whether the Government is aware that the companies are not providing accommodation and food to the passengers during the cancellation and inordinate delay of the flights and if so, the action taken by the Government to provide the requisite service?

The Minister of State (IC) in the Ministry of CIVIL AVIATION
(Shri Hardeep Singh Puri)

(a) to (c) : As per prevailing regulation, air fares are neither established nor regulated by the Government. Under the provision of Sub Rule (1) of Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, every air transport undertaking engaged in scheduled air services is required to establish tariff having regard to all relevant factors, including cost of operation, characteristic of services, reasonable profit and the generally prevailing tariff. Airlines are free to charge reasonable air fares as per their operational viabilities subject to compliance to above said rule. The airline pricing system runs in multiple levels [buckets or Reservation Booking Designators (RBDs)] which are in line with practice being followed globally. The prices are fixed by airlines keeping in mind the market, demand, seasonality and other market forces. The air fare increases with rise in demand of seats. Some of the airlines offer advance purchase (Apex fare) at discounted fares which would entail travelling even during peak seasons. The fare structures are displayed by airlines on their websites. The airlines remain compliant to the prevailing regulation as long as air fares charged by them are in line with fare displayed on their website.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section 3- Air Transport, Series M, Part IV titled "Facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights". As per the CAR, affected passengers are required to be compensated and facilitated by the airlines. Airline-wise detail in respect of number of passengers affected due to cancellation & delay of flights and compensation/facilitation provided to them for the last 06 months (May, 2019 to October, 2019) is attached as Annexure.;

Further, with a view to maintain transparency, DGCA monitors air fares on certain routes selected on random basis to ensure that airlines do not charge air fares outside the range declared by them. The fare monitoring analysis carried out by DGCA in the recent past has shown that the air fares remained well within the fare bucket uploaded by the airlines on the respective websites. In case, any steep fare hike is observed, Ministry of Civil Aviation/ DGCA sensitize the airlines for necessary intervention.

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