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DGCA asks airlines to be reasonable
Published on 5 Dec. 2010 12:06 AM IST
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Aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Saturday said the airline industry should be reasonable and transparent on the air fare pricing issue.
“We have asked the airlines to be reasonable about their demands and to be transparent about their bucket seats,” said newly-appointed DGCA director, E.K. Bharat Bhushan after a meeting with leading low cost carriers (LCCs) in Delhi.
The meeting between officials of the DGCA and the civil aviation ministry and private airlines represented by SpiceJet came a day after the Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel warned the airlines against predatory pricing.
“Sure, within a week you will find corrective action ... the regulator is not helpless ... I am sure they can and they will (act) when the situation wants. It is not that we are not seeing it. The situation is being monitored,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said.
According to an official, the DGCA made it clear to the private airlines that they have to declare the maximum air fares per sector in the public domain which is in accordance with the air transport rules.
However, Kingfisher Airline’s chairman Vijay Mallya said the issues was being hyped by the media and that in reality, passengers pay far lesser than what is being portrayed.
“Media has created a controversy. You have taken the highest band that exists now, comparing it with the lowest band several months back. People pay much lesser than these prices even during peak season,” said Mallya in Bangalore.
According to him, bandwidth pricing practice is followed all across the world and that airlines prices should not be compared as they are commercial commodities.
“Bandwidth pricing is followed all across the world. How can the prices be compared? (An) Airline is a commercial commodity,” he added.
In the past few weeks, the regulator received complaints about airlines charging exorbitant rates for last-minute bookings, sometimes as high as 200 percent of the normal fares. Routes like Delhi-Mumbai, which accounts for 70 percent of the total domestic air traffic, saw ticket prices shoot up significantly leading to an uproar from consumer forums and passengers.
As a result, the regulator had issued notices to several airlines on ticket prices and asked them to submit their replies by Dec 1.

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