The aviation ministry on Saturday allowed airlines to sell domestic tickets based on market forces of demand and supply — without adhering to fare bands — for travel beyond 15 days.
This means, a person booking on October 1 can book a ticket for travel after October 15 (15 days from date of booking) can be offered rates by airlines that are lower than the prescribed minimum for that domestic route as also higher than the allowed maximum under the fare bands. Called rolling fares bands, the earlier time period was 30 days which has now been cut by half to 15.
This also means that fare bands put in place last May when domestic flights were allowed to resume after a two-month suspension during the lockdown, will continue for some time. Now that there is no date till when fare bands ramein in force and with rolling fare bands in place, the same shall remain applicable till the government withdraws the same.
Senior airlines industry officials expect fare bands to remain in place till 100% of pre-domestic capacity is allowed, something that may happen when the winter schedule gets effective next month end.
Low cost carriers account for almost 80% of domestic air travel. The thumb rule for budget flyers, in pre-Covid times, was book early and get low fares. And closer to date of travel, spot fares rise. This way airlines get cash flow and early birds get low fares. The shorter window for which domestic fare bands are applicable will allow airlines to offer lower than the minimum fares for not so early birds. “There will be more bookings as people can be offered lower fares and airlines can get cash flow to sustain operations during these tough times,” said an official.
During the pandemic the government brought in fare bands to ensure two things — airlines don’t overcharge passengers and that airlines that are either financially strong (read only IndiGo) or are backed by big groups (Tata for Vistara and AirAsia India and Wadias for GoAir) don’t offer such low (predatory) fares that weaker airlines are unable to compete and shut down.
Based on flying time, there are seven categories: starting at flights below 40 minutes and going upto 3-3.5 hours.
Entertainment2 days ago
Bolly Buzz: Aryan Khan is being counselled by NGO workers along with NCB’s Sameer Wankhede; Katrina Kaif tightly hugs Vicky Kaushal – Times of India ►
Politics2 days ago
Daily domestic flyers hit new post Covid high; Vistara pipped SpiceJet in domestic market share last month – Times of India
Lifestyle2 days ago
Coronavirus Vaccine Mixing: Mixing Covaxin and Covishield vaccines is safe and effective, finds ICMR study
Sports2 days ago
No CSK without Dhoni, no Dhoni without CSK: N Srinivasan | Cricket News – Times of India
Business2 days ago
RBI slaps penalty of Rs 1 crore on SBI, Rs 1.95 crore on StanChart – Times of India