India To Extend Cap On Airfares Till February-End
An aircraft operated by IndiGo is seen from a control tower as it takes off at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

India To Extend Cap On Airfares Till February-End

The Civil Aviation Ministry has extended the cap on airfares by another three months as the airline industry is yet to recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic.

“The fare cap on flights within India which was in place until Nov. 24 has been extended by three more months,” Hardeep Singh Puri, civil aviation minister, told reporters on Thursday evening. The ministry will review the situation later.

“We have progressed domestically from 30,000 passengers to around 180,000 passengers flying daily," Puri said. "I still think we need a little more cushion."

Airlines are among the worst hit businesses as air travel was completely stopped in the initial phases of the lockdown after India imposed among the strictest curbs to in the world to contain Covid-19. The ministry imposed a cap on domestic airfares in May as it started resuming domestic flights after two months. It was then extended in July till Nov. 24. Amid poor demand, domestic airlines are only using 60% of the capacity.

The airfares have been categorised in seven bands based on the duration of flight. The base minimum airfare of domestic flights ranges from Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,500 and the maximum range from Rs 6,000 to Rs 18,600.

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