The Civil Aviation Ministry on July 29 said that the passengers booking their tickets through travel agents on international flights operating under the Vande Bharat Mission must not pay more than the fares mentioned on Air India's website.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 in view of the coronavirus pandemic. However, since May 6, international charter flights have been operated by Air India under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded people reach their destinations. Private carriers have also operated a certain number of flights under this mission.
"Passengers booking tickets for #VBM flights through travel agents, may please note that they should not pay more than the fares mentioned on the Air India website. Passengers facing issues of overcharging by travel agents may write to firstname.lastname@example.org," the ministry said on Twitter.
India had, on July 16, formed bilateral air bubbles with countries like the US, Germany and France that allows airlines of both the countries in the pact to operate special international charter flights. The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay and firing of employees in order to conserve cash.
India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. However, occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around just 50-60 percent since May 25.