New Delhi: In the backdrop of a sudden rise in airfares in recent past, aviation regulator DGCA Monday directed the domestic carriers to have a "relook at route-wise fares and make them rational and reasonable".
Director General of Civil Aviation E K Bharat Bhushan called a meeting of Chief Executive Officers of all the domestic airlines and expressed concern on the exponential increase in fares on various domestic sectors.
He said passenger traffic in May this year has seen a downward swing over the corresponding period of last month but the fares have seen a disproportionate spurt.
DGCA also questioned the airline bosses how there was a phenomenal increase in the airfare when the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has gone up just by 16 percent in June this year compared to the same month last year.
Assuring DGCA, the airline bosses said they would reduce five to 20 percent fares in the highest fare slab.
"Scheduled domestic airlines have now proposed reduction of airfares in the highest fare bucket on various routes in the domestic network between five percent and 20 percent," an official statement from the Civil Aviation Ministry said.
The aviation regulator has set a fare monitoring cell, which keeps an eye on the any unfair hike in ticket prices. DGCA has been receiving several complaints against the abnormal high ticket prices of various airlines on the same sector.
DGCA pointed out to the CEOs that huge variations were witnessed in the highest published fare slab by different carriers on the same sector.
The regulator also said the fares didn't show any increasing trend with the proximity to the date of departure.
Many a time, fares of higher inventory were opened and then lowered as the date of departure approached. This resulted in passengers buying tickets in advance end up paying more than the passengers buying later, DGCA told the airline officials.
The airlines assured DGCA that they would examine the ticket prices offered in the highest fare buckets.