NEW DELHI: Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Monday claimed that airfare is cheaper than auto-rickshaw fare.
“Today airfare is less than that of an auto-rickshaw,” said Sinha.
“You'll ask how is that possible? When two people take an auto-rickshaw they pay fare of Rs 10 which means they're charged Rs 5/km but when you go by air you are charged Rs 4/km,” added the Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
Sinha's comment comes in the backdrop of Indian airlines posting massive losses.
According to a study by CAPA India, Indian airlines are expected to post combined losses of up to $1.9 billion this financial year, led by full-service carriers like Air India and Jet Airways driven by rising costs and low air fares.
Ticket prices have not risen to compensate for higher costs, and CAPA said with the exception of Interglobe Aviation Ltd`s IndiGo, none of the airlines have strong enough balance sheets to comfortably withstand higher costs and lower yields.
The loss forecast for the 12 months ending March 31 is up from an estimated $430 million to $460 million sector-wide loss in January largely due to the depreciation of the rupee and a rise in oil prices, CAPA said in a report released on Monday evening.