Press Trust of india

Lower fare limits to be applicable to premium economy class seats: Aviation Ministry

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New Delhi: Lower fare limits decided by the government for economy class seats of domestic flights on May 21 would now also be applicable to premium economy class seats, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said.

However, the upper fare limits set by the government for economy class seats would not be applicable on the premium economy class seats, according to a ministry order dated October 5 which was accessed by PTI.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had on May 21 placed upper and lower limits on domestic airfares through seven bands, classified on the basis of flight duration, till August 24. Later, it was extended till November 24.

Among the Indian domestic carriers, only Vistara has premium economy class seats in its flights.

Domestic passenger services resumed in India on May 25 after nearly two months of suspension owing to the coronavirus pandemic situation.

Modifying its May 21 order, the MoCA in its October 5 communication stated, “The fares indicated… are not applicable for business class and premium economy class. However, in premium economy class, the lower fare band would be applicable.”

The ministry had on May 21 said that there would be seven bands of ticket pricing with lower and upper fare limits based on flight duration.

The first such band consists of flights that are of less than 40 minutes duration. The lower and the upper fare limits for the first band is Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,000, respectively.

The subsequent bands are for flights with durations of 40-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes, 120-150 minutes, 150-180 minutes and 180-210 minutes.

The lower and upper limits for these bands are: Rs 2,500-Rs 7,500; Rs 3,000-Rs 9,000; Rs 3,500-Rs 10,000; Rs 4,500-Rs 13,000; Rs 5,500-Rs 15,700 and Rs 6,500-Rs 18,600, respectively, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

The aviation ministry had made it clear that each airline would sell at least 40 per cent of its tickets on a flight at prices less than the midpoint between the lower limit and upper limit.

It had imposed the fare limits to make sure that passengers were not charged beyond a certain limit amid the coronavirus pandemic and there was no predatory pricing among the airlines as their financial condition was bad due to the pandemic.

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