The government had imposed a fixed cap for air travel during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic but has now removed it as the market slowly opens up
The government today announced an increase in the lower air fare band by 5% for domestic flights. This is the second instance in which the government has increased the fare limits, the first one being in February this year for domestic airlines.
The move by the Union Government is expected to increase the air fares of the flights operating in the domestic sector.
There has been a continuous rise in price of ATF so it has been decided to increase the lower fare band by 5% keeping the upper fare band unchanged. We may open the sector for 100% operations when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakhs on 3 occasions in a month.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter and wrote,"There has been a continuous rise in price of ATF so it has been decided to increase the lower fare band by 5% keeping the upper fare band unchanged. We may open the sector for 100% operations when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakhs on 3 occasions in a month."
Continuing the Twitter thread the minister further wrote," Last few days have seen a decline in the number of air passengers largely due to restrictions & imposition of compulsory RT-PCR test by various states. Due to this we have decided to retain the permissible limit to 80% of schedule."
The upper limit on airfares will remain as it is for now. Just a month back, the Centre had increased the lower and upper limits on domestic airfares by 10-30 per cent due to rising ATF prices.
While announcing resumption of scheduled domestic flights in May last year, the Aviation Ministry had placed limits on airfares through seven bands classified on the basis of flight duration.
The first band consists of flights having less than 40-minute duration and its lower limit has been increased to ₹2,310 on Friday. The lower limit for the highest band of flights having duration of 180-210 minutes was further hiked to ₹7,560.
Scheduled international passenger traffic continues to remain suspended in India since March 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with various countries
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