Domestic air travel is set to become costlier as the Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday raised the lower limit on fares by 13 to 16 per cent, according to an official order.
As per an order by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), "Fare for domestic travel less than 40 minutes of duration will be hiked by Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,600, which is 13 per cent of the current fare." Flights with duration between 40 minutes to one hour will have fares at a lower limit of Rs 3,300. The fares for such flights were earlier capped by the ministry at Rs 2,900.
Similarly, for flights of duration between 60-90 minutes airfare will be charged at Rs 4,000, 90-120 minutes at Rs 4,700, 150-180 minutes at Rs 6,100 and 180-210 minutes will cost Rs 7,400.
Currently, the airfare for flights in the above period is cheaper by Rs 300 to Rs 1,000. In other words, for instance, a Delhi-Mumbai flight will cost Rs 700 more than the current fare.
An increase in airfares has been attributed on the capacity of the load factors of the passengers. A sudden increase of coronavirus cases in the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic showed a decrease in domestic air travel.
"In view of the sudden surge in the number of active COVID 19 cases across the country, decrease in passenger traffic and passenger load factor, the existing capacity cap of 80 per cent capacity may be read as 50 per cent capacity," Civil Aviation Ministry said in the order.
The domestic air travel has drastically reduced in the country during the last couple of weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On February 28, around 3.13 lakh domestic air passengers travelled in India. On May 25, domestic flights operated in India with only 39,000 passengers approximately.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)Wild bat inside Air India plane forces flight to return back to Delhi airport
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