GoI snubs JK govt’s plea for regulation of airfares during peak tourist season

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Srinagar, Feb 3: The Government of India has rejected ruling PDP-BJP’s “concern” regarding hike in airfares during the peak tourist season in the State, telling it that airlines were free to fix the tariff. 

“The matter of hike in the airfare during the peak tourist season in the State including Leh has been a matter of concern for the State as there is a hike in the airfares and it becomes unaffordable for the intending tourists to visit the state including Ladakh,” Tourism Minister Tasaduq Mufti said while replying to a written question by a legislator Nawang Rigzin Jora in legislative assembly.

The minister further said that the State Government has been pursuing matter for getting the airfares regulated of carriers operating in Jammu and Srinagar sectors to bring price-stability and controlling the cost of air travel within reasonable limits.

“The Chef Minister had taken up the issue with the union Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India through a communication dated 28/01/2017,” he according to GNS said.

In response to the communication, he said, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation has conveyed that airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff under provision of Sub-rule (1) of Rule 135 of Aircraft Rules, 1953 having regard to all relevant factors, including the cost of operation, characteristics of service, reasonable profit and the generally prevailing tariffs, he said.

“Airline pricing system runs in multiple levels (buckets or RBDs) which are in line with practice being followed globally”.

The prices are fixed by airlines keeping in mind the market, demand, seasonality and other market forces and the airfare increases with increase in demand of seats as the lower fare buckets get sold out fast when booking are offered by airlines, he said.

Some of the airlines have introduced Apex-90, in addition to existing advance purchase schemes of 60 days, 30 days, 14 days etc., in which highly discounted fares being offered would entail travelling even during peak seasons on low fares, he added. (GNS)

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