Govt increases lower limit of airfare, here are the new rates


In a move to support the loss-making aviation industry, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday decided to increase the lower limit of airline fare for domestic flights by about 15%. The ministry, headed by Hardeep Puri, released an official order stating that the changes in airfare will be effective from 1 June.

Under revised airfares, the lower limit that can be charged by airlines for flights of less than 40 minutes has been increased from Rs 2300 to Rs2600, an increase of 13%. Similarly, for airlines of duration between 40 to 60 minutes, the lower limit has been increased from Rs 2900 to Rs 3300. However, the upper limits, i.e., the maximum fare that can be charged has remained unchanged. For flights of less than 40 minutes, the upper limit is capped at Rs 7800 while for those between 40 to 60 minutes, it is capped at Rs 9800. The restrictions are applicable only for domestic flights.

The airline industry has been among the worst affected sectors of the Indian economy since the start of the pandemic in India last year. The second wave of the virus only made the situation worse for the airlines. With lockdowns or travel restrictions imposed in most states of the country, closure of tourism and a general discomfort among passengers to travel by plane, the airlines are making heavy losses.

Last year, when air travel resumed in May 2020 after a nationwide lockdown, the Civil Aviation Ministry had introduced upper and lower limits for airfare on the basis of the duration of the flight. This was done to protect consumers from getting overcharged while also ensuring that airlines don’t reduce fares too much in competition, which would put a strain on smaller airlines.

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