The government on Thursday said that the suspension of Jet Airways operations led to reduction in capacity in the domestic sectors, which resulted in a marginal hike in airfares, reported new agency Asian News International (ANI). "Meetings were held to sensitize the airlines in this regard," Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri was quoted as saying in the ANI report. "Monitoring of airfare was started by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) on certain routes, selected on a random basis to ensure that the airlines do not charge airfares outside the range declared by the," he said.
"During monitoring it was observed that airfares remained within the fare bracket established. Subsequently, due to induction of more aircraft by the domestic airlines and resultant capacity increase in the domestic sectors, fares have been observed as normalized," he said.
Mr Puri further said that as per the prevailing regulations, airfares are neither established nor regulated by the government. "All scheduled domestic airlines are required to display route-wise and category-wise fares on their respective websites in compliance to the regulations," he said.
Domestic air passenger traffic in May increased by 2.96 per cent after a slump in April, according to the data released by aviation regulator DGCA in June. In April, domestic air passenger traffic had dropped by 4.5 per cent over the same period last year. Suspension of operations by Jet Airways on April 17 due to lack of funds was considered to be one of the primary reasons why domestic air traffic saw a fall in that month.
Jet Airways stopped flying after it ran out of cash and the unpaid lessors took away most of its 100-odd operational airplanes. Apart from banks, Jet Airways owes Rs 10,000 crore to its hundreds of vendors, primarily aircraft lessors and over Rs 3,000 crore to around 23,000 employees who have not been paid since March.