The government announced on Thursday that fares for flight tickets on domestic routes will be capped for the next three months. It unveiled a series of exhaustive rules and regulations that will govern intra-country air travel in the coming weeks. Air travel has been more or less shut for the last two months as part of the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Domestic flights will resume partially from Monday as the country begins ‘exiting’ from the lockdown. Initially, around a third of the usual flights will operate over Indian skies with stringent restrictions on hygiene and social distancing (read the full set of new rules that will be applicable for flying here).
As part of the new regulations, the government is capping air fares with the aim of ensuring that ticket prices are affordable for fliers and at the same time are financially viable for airlines, which have suffered huge losses over the last few months.
The fares will be capped according to seven sector classes, which have been divided according to approximate flight times. Under the new air fare regulations, the cheapest domestic flight ticket in India will be for Rs 2,000 while the most expensive will be for Rs 18,600. These air fares will appy for all flights until 11:59 pm on August 24.
Illustrating how the new air fare cap will work, aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that ticket rates for the Delhi-Mumbai route will be priced between a minimum Rs 3,500 and a maximum Rs 10,000. Further, 40 per cent of all seats on one flight must be sold at a price less “than the midpoint of the band”.
Air fares will be capped across the country based on seven route classes. The classes have been divided based on approximate flight times. Here’s the list of the seven classes and their respective air fare bands:
Class A: Less than 40 mins; Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,000
Class B: 40-60 mins; Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,500
Class C: 60-90 mins; Rs 3,000 to Rs 9,000
Class D: 90-120 mins; Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000
Class E: 120-150 mins; Rs 4,500 to Rs 13,000
Class F: 150-180 mins; Rs 5,500 to Rs 15,700
Class G: 180-210 mins; Rs 6,500 to Rs 18,600
The fare prices do NOT include user deveopment fees (UDF), passenger service fees (PSF), and the goods and services tax (GST).