With a third of domestic flight operations set to resume from Monday, the civil aviation ministry has said that it will put a cap on fares charged by airlines. The ministry, on Thursday, released a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs), one of which deals with limits on air fares. Commercial flights have been suspended since March 25 as part of the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19; only cargo flights and special evacuation flights were permitted during the period.
"Airlines should adhere to the lower and upper limits offers prescribed by the Ministry during the period of COVID- 19 pandemic," the order stated.
However, the "lower and upper limits" have not yet been announced by the government.
The central government holds the power to regulate airfares, as per the Aircraft Act, 1934.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted that domestic flights will start to operate "in a calibrated manner" from 25 May.
Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 20, 2020
All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May.
SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued by @MoCA_GoI.
Meanwhile, aviation sector stocks went up in Thursday's trading. At 2:55 pm, InterGlobe Aviation, which operates flights under the IndiGo brand, had soared by 7 percent to trade at Rs 980 apiece, while SpiceJet stock hit the upper circuit of 5 per cent at Rs 42.95 on the BSE.