Indian civil aviation regulator seeks information on ticket pricing from airlines

World Friday 06/May/2016 18:32 PM
By: Times News Service
Indian civil aviation regulator seeks information on ticket pricing from airlines

New Delhi: With concern being expressed over steep fluctuation in airfares, civil aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has sought details from the airlines on their pricing ways, especially the highest fare bucket.
The latest move comes against the backdrop of concern expressed in various quarters, including by the members of Parliament (MPs), about steep fluctuation in airfares, mainly during emergency situations and peak seasons.
The regulator has sought details of ticket prices from the airlines, especially those sold in the highest fare bucket, a DGCA official said on Friday.
As it seeks to clamp down on airlines charging exorbitant ticket prices, the DGCA has also asked them to submit specific information about the number of seats and relevant fares on 20 identified routes, the official said.
The routes, for which ticket pricing information has been sought, include those connecting Jammu and Kashmir, Leh and Port Blair.
On Wednesday, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had told Lok Sabha that the ministry would hold consultations with the airlines to explore the possibility of curbing charging of exorbitant airfares during emergency situations.
"The ministry will commence the process of consultations with stakeholders, including airlines, to explore possibility of containing fares," he had said.
His assurance had come amid Lok Sabha members voicing concern over exorbitant airfares during emergency situations like unprecedented floods in Chennai and Srinagar and the recent Jat agitation.
Meanwhile, the Union aviation ministry will form two working groups to address issues related to capacity constraints and air traffic congestion at the Delhi and Mumbai airports. The decision was taken on Thursday, at a meeting chaired by R N Choubey, the ministry’s secretary.
These two airports are the busiest in the country and also face capacity constraints. More so at Mumbai, which has a single runway and no extra slots for airlines.
The working groups will comprise representatives of airlines, airport operators and the Airports Authority of India (AAI). They’ll examine issues related to capacity, reducing airside congestion and runway occupancy, plus better navigation procedures.
At Thursday’s meeting, executives of the two airports made presentations on the issues and what was being done to improve air traffic movement.
Mumbai handles 45-48 movements an hour and on occasion over 50; a single runway means it does not have room to accommodate more flights. There’s also a staff shortage at the traffic control tower.