The government on Friday increased the lower fare band for domestic flights by 5 per cent due to rise in price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to announce the hike in lower fare band while keeping the upper fare band unchanged. Last month, the Centre had increased lower and upper limits on domestic airfares by 10-30 per cent due to rising ATF prices.
The Centre had capped air fares by announcing upper and lower limits through seven bands based on flight duration when it resumed domestic flight services in May last year after COVID-19-induced lockdown.
The first band consists of flights having duration less than 40 minutes, and its lower limit has been increased to Rs 2,310. The lower limit for the highest band of flights having duration of 180-210 minutes has been hiked to Rs 7,560.
The airlines are currently allowed to operate up to 80 per cent of pre-COVID flights. Puri said the sector will be opened for 100 per cent operations when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakh on three occasions in a month.
There has been a continuous rise in price of ATF so it has been decided to increase the lower fare band by 5% keeping the upper fare band unchanged. We may open the sector for 100% operations when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakhs on 3 occasions in a month.- Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) March 19, 2021
Scheduled international passenger traffic continues to remain suspended in India since March 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble agreements with different countries.
(With inputs from PTI)