Domestic airfare bands to go when flights reach pre-Covid levels: Puri

2021-02-10 14:58:22

NEW DELHI: Domestic airfare band, that fixes the minimum and maximum fares that can be charged for different routes, may go when the summer schedule kicks in from April, aviation minister H S Puri said in Parliament on Wednesday .
The minister stated that capping airfares was an “extraordinary measure” which may be done away with once domestic flights each pre-Covid levels.
“It is not our intention… It also cannot be in an open, deregulated market situation to have fare bands (as) a permanent feature. So, it is our expectation that when flights open up to pre-Covid levels in this summer schedule, we would not have the need for a price band,” he said.
While winter schedule is from last Sunday of October to last Saturday of March, summer schedule is from last Sunday of March to last Saturday of October.
Airlines are currently allowed to operate upto 80% of their pre-Covid domestic flight schedules.
“We are now confronted with an interesting situation. On the one hand, some of carriers want us to open full capacity, 100%, whereas others would like to go slow,” Puri said, adding that the decision to allow beyond 80% capacity will depend on the behaviour of the virus and “our sense” of comfort that all the required Covid protocol is being followed.

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