NEW DELHI: Airfares on key domestic routes declined, though by varying degrees, which was as high as 70 per cent for the busy Delhi-Mumbai route, according to data available with regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The Delhi-Mumbai airfare is hovering around Rs 6,000, which was reported early this month to be about Rs 20,000. Similarly, data showed fares on other key routes too declined in the range of 5-74 per cent.
The drop in airfares follows the recent statements made by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, where he emphasised the need to make air travel more affordable for the general public.
“With the collective efforts of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry, airfares have been reduced. Airfares for flights connecting Delhi to Pune and Mumbai has been reduced by 70 per cent and 74 per cent. Whereas, airfares for flights from Delhi to Ahmedabad have been reduced by 66 per cent”, a senior aviation ministry official said.
On June 5, Minister Scindia chaired a meeting with the Airlines Consultative Group to discuss airfares, where he urged the airlines to “self-regulate” airfares and maintain a reasonable price level.
“Private airline companies also have their own social responsibility and there should be a limit to increasing fares across sectors”, the minister had said in the meeting.
There were several other reasons behind the high airfares in late May and June. India’s low-cost carrier GoFirst suspended all its flight operations in early June for operational reasons — it submitted for voluntary insolvency in early May.
“The absence of GoAir, the Balasore train accident, and the summer vacation rush propelled airfares skyward. Airlines, taking advantage of the demand-supply gap, escalated prices strategically. However, MOCA and DGCA intervened, urging airlines to rationalise fares. This intervention aimed to strike a balance between passenger affordability and industry sustainability, fostering a fairer and transparent pricing system”, said Michael Jain, CEO at Belair Travel, an accredited travel company. (ANI)