DGCA summons airlines officials on rising airfares

DGCA summons airlines officials on rising airfares

Airfares are high across all metros due to the grounding of B-737Max aircraft

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has summoned top executives of all domestic airlines on Tuesday to discuss the issues of rising air fares, increasing cancellations and other issues dogging the sector. 

The ban on Boeing 737-Max aircraft and the grounding of as many as 41 aircraft by cash-strapped Jet Airways have led to cancellation of flights and rise in airfares across metros over the past few days.

In the DGCA meeting, scheduled for noon on Tuesday, the issue of airfares due to cancellation of flights by Jet Airways is expected to be discussed. Airlines may also raise other issues related to their functioning, as the aviation sector is going through a rough patch.

After the March 13 crash of the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, the civil aviation regulator had ordered grounding of Boeing 737-Max aircraft.

SpiceJet was the main domestic airline to take a hit by the decision as it operated 12 such aircraft.

Jet Airways on Monday said it has grounded four more planes, taking the number of aircraft that are non-operational due to the non-payment of lease rentals to 41. According to its website, Jet Airways has a fleet of 119 planes.

“Jet Airways has cancelled all their flights from Abu Dhabi with immediate effect from March 18 due to operational reasons,” Etihad Airport Services, said in a notification to its passengers on Sunday.

A travel agent in the capital said that airfares were high across all metros due to grounding of B-737Max aircraft and the problems faced by Jet Airways. However, he justified the airfare rise saying it was necessary for the airlines to recoup their losses.