New Delhi: Cracking its whip on low-cost airlines, anti monopoly watchdog MRTPC has initiated an investigation on possible cartelization by such fliers.
Taking a suo motu action, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission has directed its investigative arm DGIR to probe the role of carriers along with their umbrella organisation, Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), in fixing the fares.
Last month, after a meeting with its member airlines, FIA decided to fix Rs500 as the minimum airfare to improve their bottomlines.
The Commission is suspecting that by using the FIA platform, the carriers have eliminated fair competition in the sector and deprived travellers from low-cost promotional fares.
According to the Commission, it appears to be restrictive trade practices and goes against the interest of consumers, MRTPC sources said.
The Commission directed the Director General of Investigation and Registration (DGIR) to submit a preliminary investigation report within 90 days.
According to sources, the Commission is of the view that after that price arrangement, fares offered by no-frill airlines such as Deccan, Spicejet, Go Air and Indigo have vanished.
The aviation industry has been facing high cost of operations, especially in view of a stupendous rise in the prices of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), which accounts for almost 35% of their total operating costs.