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Air travel gets expensive as government announces 30% fare hike

This move is expected to bring some relief to the financially distressed aviation industry, one of the most affected industries because of the coronavirus pandemic, it would also make air travel costlier at least till March 31.

Air travel gets expensive as government announces 30% fare hike
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Air travel is likely to be costlier as the Ministry of Civil Aviation has increased the minimum and maximum cap on fares across all bands. The limits on airfares have been increased by 10-30 per cent, the ministry said in a notification issued on Thursday, February 11.

This move is expected to bring some relief to the financially distressed aviation industry, one of the most affected industries because of the coronavirus pandemic. It would also make air travel costlier at least till March 31.

Moreover, the reason behind the hike is the increase in fuel prices as per aviation experts. As per an order from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), it is a routine change.

The upper price band on 180-210 minute flights which is now capped at INR 18,600, will be increased by about 30 per cent to INR 24,200, an increase of INR 5,600. Meanwhile, on the shortest route for the minimum price band, the price will be increased by 10 per cent, an increase of INR 200, MoCA said.

"Fare capping operations during the calibrated opening of the aviation sector in the country has been extended from time to time, and is currently in force up to March 31, or until further orders," the Ministry statement said.

The Ministry has also announced a new fare band and an updated fare for domestic travel to a minimum of INR 2,200 and maximum of INR 7,800, from INR 2,000 and INR 6,000 respectively.

The government had imposed a fixed cap for air travel during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic but has now removed it as the market slowly opens up.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended in the country on March 25 after the Central government imposed a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Domestic flights in the country resumed operations from May 25.

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