In a move that’s aimed to benefit the ailing aviation industry, Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that the lower and upper limit of air fares would be raised by 10-30 per cent.
Back in May 21, 2020, when air travel resumed in India, the ministry had placed limits on air fares across seven bands that were classified as per the duration of the flight.*
On February 11, 2021, the ministry once again announced fresh changes to the upper and lower caps to air fares as follows:
₹2,200–₹7,800 for sector one
₹2,800–₹9,800 for sector two
₹3,300–₹11,700 for sector three
₹3,900–₹13,000 for sector four
₹5,000–₹16,900 for sector five
₹6,100–₹20,400 for sector six
₹7,200–₹24,200 for sector seven
*Flights between cities that take under 40 minutes have been classified under sector one, while those that take under 40-60 minutes have been put under sector two. Sector three consists of destinations 60-90 minutes apart, sector four comprise cities 90-120 minutes apart and sector five consists of cities 120-150 minutes apart. Destinations between 150-180 minutes and 180-210 minutes have been classified under categories six and seven respectively.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has also announced that the number of domestic flights that airlines are permitted to operate would remain at 80 per cent of their pre-Covid levels until March 31, 2021, or till the summer schedule begins. (The 80 per cent limit on airline capacity was set on December 3, 2020.)
Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of Civil Aviation said that the price bands would be done away with, once the airlines begin operating as per their pre-Covid capacities.