A Parliamentary panel has put forth a comprehensive proposal aimed at addressing the concerns surrounding escalating air ticket prices. The proposal includes measures such as route-specific capping of airfares and the establishment of a distinct regulatory entity to oversee pricing in the aviation sector.
The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture recently presented a report highlighting the inefficacy of self-regulation by airlines in controlling ticket prices.
Despite efforts by the civil aviation ministry, the panel noted instances of exorbitant fare hikes, particularly during peak seasons and holidays.
1. The panel proposed empowering the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to regulate air tariffs, emphasizing the need for a more robust mechanism to ensure fair pricing.
2. Urging the exploration of a separate regulatory body with quasi-judicial powers, the committee aims to enhance oversight and curb arbitrary fare adjustments.
3. Additionally, the report suggests exploring the feasibility of implementing route-specific fare ceilings, balancing the interests of both airlines and passengers.
4. Recognizing the need for flexibility, especially during peak seasons, the panel recommended evaluating the modification of fare ceilings with prior notice.
Challenges and Concerns
The committee highlighted the dominance of revenue management and commercial interests in determining airfares, often sidelining passenger welfare.
It stressed the necessity for a clearer definition of “reasonable profit” to ensure adherence to regulatory standards and prevent unjustified fare surges.
Critiquing the policy of seat price variation within the same flight, the panel called for a reassessment to uphold principles of fairness and equity.
Moreover, the practice of unbundling, while potentially reducing costs for some passengers, raised concerns about increased expenses for others, necessitating a closer examination of its impact on consumers.
With air travel becoming increasingly vital, the proposed measures aim to strike a balance between commercial viability and consumer interests. As stakeholders deliberate on these recommendations, ensuring a fair and transparent pricing framework remains paramount in fostering a sustainable aviation industry.
(With Inputs from PTI News)