Cap on airfares not the solution, says Raju

Cap on airfares not the solution, says Raju

Cap on airfares not  the solution, says Raju

Fliers may rue arbitrary pricing by airlines, but Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju is not ready to demonise them.

"The airlines might not be angels, but they definitely are not demons. We need to work with them and find a solution to higher airfares," Raju said.

Asserting that there is no "simplistic solution" to deal with the arbitrary rise in airfares, Raju said capping would not help. He said such measures would only hike the prices further. "Caps and floors are very interesting. But we should not land in a situation that pushes up the price of over 90% of passengers to benefit around 1.7% of passengers," Raju said, when asked whether the government intends to cap airfares.

Last week, a Parliamentary Standing Committee discussed the issue of airlines jacking up airfare to destinations in Punjab and Haryana during the Jat agitation earlier this year. The panel expressed its reservation over such practices and urged the ministry to take adequate measures to ensure such situations don’t arise.

His comments came even as the Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) on Wednesday approached the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on whether it would take action against airlines that are "misleading" people through “bogus” sales. The APAI complaint came on a day SpiceJet offered a five-day monsoon bonanza sale.

Asked about the government setting up a Civil Aviation Authority, Raju said, "I don't subscribe to changing the name of DGCA. You tell me what you expect this authority to do. If you want me to change the name board, then it is not a good idea."

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