JET AIRWAYS FALL: Airfares are ‘normal’ now, says Govt

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The civil aviation ministry said airfare levels in India have largely returned to normal, after a spike seen immediately after the shut down of operations of Jet Airways in April.

The ministry also said that no airline was observed to have charged outside the declared fare brackets in the aftermath of the closure of operations by Jet Airways.

Jet Airways shut down its operations in April after running out of money, affecting hundreds of flights across the country. There were complaints that rival airlines started charging outrageous fares to take advantage of the sudden decline in capacity.

This forced Directorate General of Civil Aviation to start monitoring the fares charged by the airlines on major routes.

“It was observed that though there was a marginal hike in airfares, it remained within the fare brackets established,” the ministry said today.

“Subsequently, some of the domestic airlines started inducting more aircrafts in their fleets which resulted in an increase in the capacity on the domestic sectors as a result of which fares are observed to be fairly normalized at present.”

SpiceJet, which accounts for about 14% of the total passenger traffic in India, has been the most aggressive in terms of trying to soak up the excess demand in the market in the aftermath of the shutting down of Jet Airways’ operations, and launched over a hundred new flights.

Market leader Indigo Airlines, which accounts for about 50% of the total passenger traffic in India, launched only around half the number of new flights that SpiceJet launched.

JET AIRWAYS’ SLOTS

The ministry also said it has temporarily allocated the flight slots vacated by Jet Airways to rivals.

“The domestic slots vacated by Jet Airways starting from April 2019 have been allocated on ad hoc basis to other Indian carriers. Majority of the international traffic rights of Jet Airways have been distributed among the Indian carriers purely on temporary basis,” it said.

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