On Friday, the aviation ministry extended the validity of this order for three more months till 11.59 pm of November 24, 2020.
“As per the prevailing situation of Covid-19, the central government directs (the domestic fare capping order) shall remain in force till 11.59 pm of November 24, 2020, or until further orders,” an order issued by aviation ministry joint secretary S K Mishra said. Based on this, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed airlines to strictly adhere to the same.
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The ministry had on May 21 classified domestic flights into seven categories based on flying time — starting at flights below 40 minutes having a range of Rs 2,000 – Rs 6,000 and going upto those with flying time of 3 hours-3.5 hours with a range of Rs 6,500-Rs 18,600.
Delhi-Mumbai, one of the world’s busiest domestic air routes, falls in a category with fare range of Rs 3,500-Rs 10,000. Airlines will need to sell 40% seats at below the mid-point of Rs 6,750. The economy one-way fares fixed by the government do not include user development fee of airports, passenger security fees (Rs 150 for domestic) and GST.
The government had decided to put a cap on fare range while restarting domestic schedule flights to strike a balance between protecting consumer interest from overcharging and airlines cutting fares due to competition to a point that their own viability becomes suspect.