Are you planning to fly? Have you made plans for a trip and are yet to book your flight tickets? Then this piece of news is surely for you as the government has hiked the lower and upper limits on domestic airfares, which means passengers will have to spend more on air travel.
While announcing the resumption of scheduled domestic flights after Covid-induced lockdown in May last year, the aviation ministry had placed limits on airfares through seven bands classified on the basis of flight duration. The first such band consists of flights of less than 40 minutes duration. The lower limit for the first band has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,200. The upper limit in this band has been set at Rs 7,800, which was Rs 6,000 earlier.
Reasons behind domestic airfares hike
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to explain the Centre’s decision to raise lower and upper limits on domestic airfares. He said aviation turbine fuel price has risen by three times since resumption of scheduled domestic flights on May 25.
Puri said tweeted on Monday, “When domestic flights resumed after lockdown price fare bands applicable only on economy fares were introduced to inspire public confidence and to ensure no inconvenience was caused to the public.”
“Since then, the price of crude oil has risen from USD 30 to USD 60 per barrel. Prices of Aviation turbine fuel have gone up from Rs 17,000 per kilolitre to Rs 51,000 per kilolitre. However, fare levels have been raised by 10 per cent at the lower band and 30 per cent at the higher band. Due to the higher supply, most travel takes place at the lower band.”
“As an example, Delhi-Mumbai fare at lower band has gone up from Rs 3,500 to Rs 3,900. It is still comparable to 2nd class AC fares on Railways. In 2010, Delhi-Mumbai airfare was in the range of Rs 4,000. So, fares have remained unchanged for more than a decade,” the minister noted.
Current lower and upper limits of fare bands
As per media reports, the lower and upper limits of fare bands for flights are:
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. International flight operations continue to remain suspended in India since 23 March 2020. However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements with various countries.