New Delhi: Making the domestic travel more costly, the civil aviation ministry has raised the lower limit on airfares by 13 to 16%, however, the upper limits have remained unchanged, as per reports. The increase in fares is set to come into effect from 1 June, according to an official order.
The move comes in view of a devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India, which has reduced air travel significantly, burdening the airlines.
Now, the lower limit for flights under 40 minutes of duration will be increased from ₹2,300 to ₹2,600 — a hike of 13%.
Similarly, flights with a duration between 40 minutes and 60 minutes will have a lower limit of ₹3,300 instead of ₹2,900 now, the order said.
Domestic flights of duration between 60-90, 90-120, 120-150, 150-180 and 180-210 minutes will have lower limits of ₹4,000, ₹4,700, ₹6,100, ₹7,400 and ₹8,700, respectively, from June 1 onwards, as per the order.
Currently, domestic flights of duration between 60-90, 90-120, 120-150, 150-180 and 180-210 minutes have lower limits of ₹3,500, ₹4,100, ₹5,300, ₹6,400 and ₹7,600, respectively.
The country had imposed lower and upper limits on airfares based on flight duration when services were resumed on 25 May last year after a two-month stringent lockdown.
In February this year, the lower and upper limits on domestic airfares were increased by 10 to 30%.
The government has directed that airlines can operate only 50% of their pre-Covid domestic flights from 1 June instead of 80% permitted currently.
The decision has been taken “in view of the sudden surge in the number of active Covid-19 cases across the country, decrease in passenger traffic and passenger load factor (occupancy rate)”, the ministry said in an order.
Domestic air travel has drastically reduced in the country during the last couple of weeks because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On February 28, around 3.13 lakh domestic air passengers travelled in India. On May 25, domestic flights operated in India with only 39,000 passengers approximately.