Last Updated: July 24 2021

Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report tabled in Rajya Sabha on Friday ‘desired’ that the Civil Aviation Ministry should fix an upper band for the economy class air fare while expressing concern on lack of uniformity in cancellation charges. It reiterated its recommendation in previous reports, requiring the airlines to restrict not more than 50 per cent of the base fare as cancellation charges.

According to the report, even after reduction of the Aviation Turbine Fuel prices over a period of time, the airlines have not passed on the benefit to the consumers. “The Committee recommends that the Ministry should take effective steps to ensure that the airlines pass on the benefit to the travelers by reducing the air fares,”.

“The tax and fuel surcharge collected should be refunded to the passengers on cancellation of tickets. The Committee hopes that the Ministry would be able to persuade the airlines for such rationalization in the interest of the passengers, the report said.

As of now, all airlines put up upper and lower fare on their website. A wing of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation monitors that the fare is set between these limits.

The ministry has repeatedly said it does not control the fare and has no plan to do so. However, during the pandemic, it fixes fare band for a limited period.

Committee on UDAN

On the topic of the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, the committee said that only 315 out of 778 routes awarded under it have been operationalised so far.

The committee desired that the Civil Aviation Ministry should examine “the reasons for non-commencement of routes that have already been awarded under the UDAN Scheme; identify the bottlenecks in this regard; and chalk out strategic steps to address the issues involved”.

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