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Fares for flight tickets on domestic routes will be capped for the next three months, the government announced on May 21. A set of exhaustive rules and regulations that will govern intra-country air travel in the coming weeks was also issued.
Air travel has been mostly closed for the last two months as part of the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Domestic flights will restart operations from May 25 as the country begins 'exiting' from the lockdown. In the beginning, around a third of the usual flights will operate with rigorous restrictions on hygiene and social distancing.
According to the new regulations, the government is capping airfares to ensure affordable and economically feasible ticket prices for passengers considering the huge losses the airlines have suffered over the last few months.
The fares will be capped based on seven sector classes, which have been divided according to approximate flight times. Under these new regulations, the cheapest domestic flight ticket in India will be for ₹2,000 while the most expensive will be for ₹18,600. These fares will be applicable for all flights until 11:59 pm on August 24.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri gave an example to explain the new system. He said that ticket rates for the Delhi-Mumbai route will be priced between a minimum ₹3,500 and a maximum ₹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".
Airfares will be capped based on seven route classes. The classes have been divided based on approximate flight times.
Class A: Less than 40 mins; ₹2,000 to ₹6,000;
Class B: 40-60 mins; ₹2,500 to ₹7,500
Class C: 60-90 mins; ₹3,000 to ₹9,000
Class D: 90-120 mins; ₹3,500 to ₹10,000
Class E: 120-150 mins; ₹4,500 to ₹13,000
Class F: 150-180 mins; ₹5,500 to ₹15,700
Class G: 180-210 mins; ₹6,500 to ₹18,600
User development fees (UDF) will not be included along with passenger service fees (PSF), and the goods and services tax (GST).
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