Aviation regulator finds high airfares unpopular

Aviation regulator finds high airfares unpopular

Fliers and parliamentarians believe airlines are fleecing them, but an analysis by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has shown that most tickets sold by airlines are “not exorbitantly priced”.

The report, prepared by the DGCA after analysing airfares of 18 domestic routes in 2014, showed that competition among operators is helping in containing the fares.

“The average airfare for all the scheduled domestic airlines is found to be almost linear, which is due to the competition prevailing in the sector,” it said.

To buttress the point, the report also said the average fare is “closer to the minimum fare” being offered by the airlines, “indicating that most of the tickets sold by the airlines are not at exorbitant prices”.

For example, the lowest fares of six airlines on the Bangalore-Mumbai route in January-March 2014 ranged between Rs 1,650 (Jet Konnect) and Rs 2,296 (Jet Airways), while the highest was between Rs 14,495 (IndiGo) and Rs 19,008 (SpiceJet).

However, the average fare on the route ranged between Rs 5,147 (GoAir) and Rs 6,138 (Jet). The average fares for IndiGo was Rs 5,333, Air India Rs 5,697, Jet Konnect Rs 5,582 and SpiceJet Rs 5,416.

“The revenue generated by the airlines in the highest fare bucket is minimal compared with that generated in remaining fare buckets,” it said.

During January-March, IndiGo got no revenue from tickets in the highest fare bracket, while Jet Airways got just 1.8 per cent from this category, GoAir 1 per cent, Jet Konnect 1.4 per cent, and SpiceJet 0.9 per cent.

During October-December, IndiGo got 0.6 per cent revenue from tickets in the highest fare bracket, while Jet Airways got 4.4 per cent, GoAir 0.3 per cent, Jet Konnect 0.8 per cent, and SpiceJet 0.7 per cent.

The revenue from the lowest fare bucket was also less than 10 per cent, while more than 85 per cent came from the remaining fare bucket. Experts said this showed that many passengers try to plan their travel early.

The report showed that the highest fare in these 18 routes was recorded on the Mumbai-Srinagar route during April-June when GoAir charged Rs 35,936 for a ticket.

A Bangalore-Delhi Jet Airways ticket was pegged at a high of Rs 30,000 during July-September. Throughout the year, the Delhi-Chennai route had its highest fare above Rs 30,000 for Jet Airways and Air India.

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