The Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that the lower and upper limits on airfares will be put in place for 15 days at any given time. After the 15th day, the airlines will be free to charge without any limits. Since August 12 this year, this roll-over period was of 30 days and the airlines have been charging without limits after the expiry of the rollover period that is the 31st day.
Explaining the rule, the Civil Aviation Ministry explained the change in the rule: “If the current date is 20th September, then the fare band shall be applicable till 4th October. Any booking done on 20th September for travel on or after 5th October shall not be controlled by fare bands." These upper and lower limits of airfares were put in place just after the domestic flights resumed operation after the COVID-19 pandemic. This was done with an intention of boosting air traffic as just after the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the people were cautious and were sceptical of travelling from one place to another. The lower caps were imposed to help those that have been struggling financially due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The upper caps were imposed exorbitant airfares people pay during times of high demand. Now, the ministry has revised the caps and increased both the upper and the lower limit. The ministry has also made it clear that this cap will remain applicable only if the tickets are being booked 15 days in advance.
This new directive of the government is going to hit the people who are booking flights for the planned journeys but the emergency travelling will continue to be subsidised as the cap will be applicable for the tickets being booked in 15 days advance. Also, one thing here is note is that if tickets are booked before a month, then there will be no price cap which means airlines are free to charge as per their own fare chart. This implies that if the tickets are booked one month in advance then the cost of the ticket could be higher now.
Ever since the flights resumed operation after the lockdown restrictions were lifted, the fares of these have been hiked over four times. The Civil Aviation Ministry has raised the lower as well as upper caps on fares by 9.83 per cent to 12.82 per cent, according to an official order. Due to this directive, the prices of emergency travelling and domestic airlines are set to rise. On May 25, 2020, India had imposed lower and upper limits on airfares based on flight duration when services resumed after a two-month lockdown due to coronavirus. The lower caps were imposed to help the airlines that have been struggling financially due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The upper caps were imposed so that passengers are not charged huge amounts when the demand for seats is high.
In August, Domestic airlines carried 6.7 million passengers, compared with 2.8 million passengers in the year-ago period, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Thursday. There was a sharp jump in the traffic that means people are travelling and this momentum looks quite stable. InterGlobe Aviation, which runs India’s largest airline, IndiGo, extended gains to a fourth session and scaled a record high of Rs 2,168.80 on Friday, while shares of SpiceJet rose up to 7.9 per cent to Rs 81.9, their highest level in two months.