India’s aviation authorities are coming under increasing pressure to regulate airfares.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) reports that more than 100 politicians from various Indian states have written to the Ministry if Civil Aviation in recent months, raising concerns over airfares. Most are said to be in favour of regulating ticket prices.
The PTI reports however, that the ministry is “reluctant” to do so.
Currently, Indian airlines are allowed to control their fares based on supply and demand. But the report cited unnamed sources as saying that politicians in some of India’s more remote states, including Jammu & Kashmir, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and parts of the northeast, have raised concerns about airfares to and from their regions being too high.
Last year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation suggested ways to implement minimum and maximum levels for airlines’ economy class fares, although no ruling was ever passed. And last week, Dr Mahesh Sharma, India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, suggested preventing airlines implementing “predatory” airfares.
“We understand that the predatory price [of airfares] at lower end or higher end should have some regulation,” Dr Sharma said, although he added that this is only his “individual opinion”.
“I feel there should be some regulation on the prices at both ends. Of course we will not totally regulate prices but some regulation has to be there,” he also said.