Hyderabad: Centre on Friday increased the lower fare band by 5 percent for domestic flights. This is the second time in two months when the government has increased the fare limits. Last month, the Centre had increased the fare for domestic airlines.
"There has been a continuous rise in the price of ATF (aviation turbine fuel). It has been decided to increase the lower fare band by 5% keeping the upper fare band unchanged. We may open the sector for 100% operations when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakh on 3 occasions in a month," said Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation.
Puri said the last few days have seen a decline in the number of air passengers largely due to restrictions and compulsory RT-PCR test. "Due to this we have decided to retain the permissible limit to 80% of the schedule," he said.
In February, the Centre had increased the lower and upper limits on domestic airfares by 10-30 percent due to the rising ATF prices.
While announcing the resumption of scheduled domestic flights in May last year, the Aviation Ministry had placed limits on airfares through seven bands classified on the basis of flight duration.
The first band consists of flights having less than 40-minute duration and its lower limit has been increased to Rs 2,310, while the lower limit for the highest band of flights having a duration of 180-210 minutes was further hiked to Rs 7,560.
Scheduled international passenger traffic continues to remain suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with various countries.