A parliamentary committee has said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should have more control over airfares. They have recommended putting price caps on specific routes. The committee found cases of airlines greatly increasing prices during festival seasons and holidays – more than normal.
Need Better Monitoring of Airfares
Currently, airlines decide their own air ticket prices. DGCA has a unit that checks airfares on some routes now and then. But they have no power to actually control the prices based on the data. The parliamentary panel said DGCA has not even inspected airline records in the last 10 years. So self-regulation by airlines has failed – strict monitoring is needed.
The panel asked the government to see if DGCA can be given power to put upper limits on fares route-wise. Especially on routes or in seasons where very high price hikes happen today exploiting supply shortages. Fare caps can still allow reasonable profits, they clarified.
Airlines Follow Global Norms, Says Government
The civil aviation ministry however contends that airlines deciding prices aligns with international practice. They also argued that shortages sometimes lead to low-cost carrier ticket costs exceeding full-service airline fares in periods. The committee remained unconvinced, asking why basic principles of equity get violated then – scrutiny is vital.