DGCA seeks India-UK airfare details from airlines

Amid complaints by air travellers over “high-fares” in the India-UK flights, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sought details of fares in this route from airlines.

The civil aviation regulator DGCA’s announcement has come in the wake of uproar by passengers who complained as India-UK flights restarted on Sunday after a gap of around three and half months after the UK government has moved India from the ‘red’ to the ‘amber’ list with effect from Sunday. The DGCA has sought details of airlines’ fares for the India-UK route.

It is learnt that the minimum one-way fare on the Delhi-London non-stop route of the economy class in August for Vistara is in the range of INR 1,03,191-1,21,356. The British Airways fares are in the range of INR 1,28,916 to INR 1,47,544. Fares of Air India flights are at least INR 1,15,936.

A round trip between New Delhi and London by Air India normally costs somewhere between INR 55,000 to INR70,000, but the prices skyrocketed just before August 8. Air India has reportedly clarified that its current fare for the Delhi- London sector is around INR 1.15 lakh.

The report compiled by the DGCA on Sunday also notes that “at present only limited flights are available in this route since scheduled international passenger flights are suspended till 31 August 2021.

However, industry experts have attributed the rise in flight fares to the weekly limit of 30 direct flights between India and the UK. They opined that fares will continue to stay so unless the number of flights on this route is increased to meet the demand.

It was further pointed out that international fares cannot be regulated as they are driven by demand and supply, sector stakeholders said. The experts have opined that such fares may continue to remain for a while since increasing flights amid the prevailing pandemic is unlikely but possible with proper measures. (Source The Statesman)

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