2020-07-16 17:03:00

The cap on airfares will be extended after August 24, the civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said today. Expect a short extension of airfare cap beyond August 24 as demand still muted, the civil aviation minister said in a press conference today.

In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the aviation ministry implemented a cap on domestic airfare in May. India started operating domestic flights after a gap of two months in the last week of Ma. The domestic flights in India have a cap on fares with both an upper and lower limit.

While the upper price limit is aimed at preventing any sharp rise in fares due to pent-up demand, the lower limit will help ensure that financial viability of airlines does not suffer amid high costs, Puri earlier said.

Flights between cities that are under 40 minutes have been classified under section one, while those under 40-60 minutes are under section two. Section three consists of destinations 60-90 minutes apart by flight, section four comprises cities 90-120 minutes apart, section five consists of cities 120-150 minutes apart. Destinations between 150-180 minutes and 180-210 minutes have been classified under sections 6 and 7, respectively.

The base minimum airfare of domestic flights ranges from 2,000 to 6,500 and the maximum range from 6,000 to 18,600. Airlines have to make available 40% of total seats in an aircraft at less than the mid-point price between the highest and lowest fares, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola earlier said.

Explaining the mechanism, Puri earlier said the move will mean that the lowest fare between Delhi and Mumbai, the busiest route in the country, will be capped at 3,500 and 10,000 at the higher end.

On the resumption of international flight operation, civil aviation minister said,”We are at a very advanced stage between of negotiation with at least three countries for bilateral air bubble.”

“Till international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, I think answer will lie through bilateral air bubbles, which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions including India,” Puri said.

“Air France will be flying 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris between 18 July to 1 August while US will be flying 18 flights between July 17-31, but this is an interim one,” Puri added.

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