Govt wants airlines to further slash their fares

Patel warns of action if they fail to do so

Emerging out of the meeting of the Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council (CAEAC), Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said, “the airlines have promised to reduce the fares at the earliest and the government expects they should adhered to their word”.

The CAEAC, which discussed prices and services of airlines, also decided to set up a small working group, comprising representatives of the air carriers and passengers’ associations, to recommend measures to “ensure transparency” in fixing airfares.

The newly constituted working group would meet in the next fortnight and the CAEAC would meet in January to further review the situation, the minister said.

The minister also said if the airlines failed to reduce the fare, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) could take “further action”.

Following complaints of predatory prices by airlines, the DGCA and the ministry issued directives to the domestic carriers to display slab wise prices to maintain transparency in airfares so that passengers are aware of what price they would be charged.

Though the airlines have displayed their prices on their website, the government said it was still confusing the fliers.

The CAEAC was set up following a surge in airfares in November without any increase in operational costs, to advise the ministry on financial policy issues and recommend a road map to boost investments.

The meeting was attended by CEOs of airlines and airport operators, representatives of IATA, Federation of Indian Airlines, CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM, consumer fora and travel agents.

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