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Government fixes price bands for air fares as flights resume – Deccan Herald

As domestic flights resume on Monday after two months, airlines will have to sell tickets within the price band prescribed by the government depending on the duration of air travel.

The government has decided to set an upper limit for domestic airfares to avoid a sharp spike in ticket prices and a lower limit to ensure that the airlines remain viable, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters here.

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Puri said that the flight operations will resume between all cities from next week, albeit with only one third of the capacity approved during the summer schedule 2020.

A Delhi-Mumbai air ticket would cost anywhere between Rs 3,500 and Rs 10,000, with an obligation on the airline to sell 40% of the seats at less than the midpoint of the price band fixed by the government.

“The midpoint for the Delhi-Mumbai price band is Rs 6,700. So, 40% of the tickets have to be sold at a price less than Rs 6,700. This is how we are ensuring that the fares do not go out of control,” Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Kharola said, adding that these fares were excluding GST, Passenger Service Fee and User Development Fee.

Airlines were expected to start bookings from Friday after making relevant adjustments to their ticketing software after taking into account the price bands fixed by the government.

Limits on airfare have been set in seven bands as per the flight durations and would be in place for a three month period till August 24, Puri said adding that the “realistic” prices were arrived at after studying corresponding rail fares.

The airfare will be categorised in seven bands depending on the duration of the flight. Flights with travel duration of less than 40 minutes will come under section one, while flights between 40 minutes and 60 minutes will come under section two. Destinations 60 to 90 minutes apart will be under section three, while section for would comprise flight duration of 90 and 120 minutes.

Section five will cover destinations that are 120-150 minutes away, while cities with flight durations of 150-180 minutes and 180 and 210 minutes will fall under categories six and seven respectively.