Govt reject fare hikes plan by Airlines

Talking tough, the Government on Friday rejected the proposal by domestic airlines for a massive fare hike and warned them of penalty and other action if the last-minute ticket prices were higher than average ahead of the high-demand Christmas-New Year break. Asserting that the Government can't remain a mute spectator to the move by the air carriers, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said there can be "no justification" for airlines to hike fares in an "arbitrary manner". It was also decided to establish a Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council, on lines of the Safety Advisory Council set up after the Mangalore crash, to advise DGCA on all economic and financial issues relating to the aviation sector, including safeguarding consumer interests.
A notification to create this Council, to be headed by the new Civil Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi, would be issued next week, Patel said. Besides DGCA and the Ministry, it would include CEOs of airlines, representatives of IATA, consumer bodies and industry organisations like FICCI and CII.