New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that as domestic airlines have started inducting more aircraft in their fleet, airfares on domestic routes are "observed to be fairly normalised at present".
In a written reply to a query whether the Centre is aware about the "unjustified tariff hike" imposed by airlines to various sectors in the country, the minister said, "Due to suspension of operation of Jet Airways and grounding of Boeing B737 Max, there was a reduction in capacity in few domestic sectors."
"With a view to maintain transparency, as advised by Ministry, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) started monitoring of airfares on certain routes selected on random basis to ensure that the airlines do not charge airfares outside the range declared by them."
The minister said that during monitoring, civil aviation regulator DGCA observed that though there was a marginal hike in airfares, it remained within the "fare brackets established".
"Subsequently, some of the domestic airlines started inducting more aircraft in their fleets which resulted in an increase in the capacity on the domestic sectors as a result of which fares are observed to be fairly normalized at present," Puri said.
Airfares on various domestic and international routes had jumped after Jet Airways shut down its operations on April 17 due to lack of funds.
After the operations of the airline was shut, the Centre decided to temporarily allocate the domestic slots - which were held by the beleaguered airline - to other Indian airlines that could start new flights immediately to fill the supply gap.
Regarding Jet Airways, the minister said its revival is now possible only under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
"The Government of India has no role in raising funds for M/s Jet Airways (India) Limited, as it is an internal matter of the airline," Puri said.
On Jet Airways matter, State Bank of India filed an application on June 20 under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 with Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to work out a resolution plan.