Civil Aviation Ministry welcomes Parliamentary Committee’s Report on issues related to improving consumer satisfaction of airlines

New Delhi, January 09, 2018: Ministry of Civil Aviation welcomes the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism & Culture’s 256th Report on “Issues Related to Improving Consumers’ Satisfaction of Airlines”.  The Committee’s report has highlighted, among other matters, consumer service issues and the matter of higher prices for last minute travel purchases.

The Ministry and the entire aviation ecosystem have been working pro-actively to offer passengers the highest levels of service and address consumer grievances. The Ministry partnered with all key stakeholders to establish the innovative AirSewa platform and other modes of offering assistance to passengers.  It is heartening to note that of the around 12 crore passengers that have flown domestically in calendar year 2017, we have received less than 10,000 complaints overall.  On many other consumer service issues like fog-related SOPs, the Ministry and the industry have been working proactively. The Ministry also proposes to issue an explicit and easy-to-understand Air Passenger Bill of Rights. We will be undertaking extensive public consultations to finalize the same.

With the repeal of Air Corporation Act in March, 1994 the provision of tariff approval was dispensed with by the Government. Under the prevailing regulations (sub-rule (1) of Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937), every air transport undertaking engaged in scheduled air services are required to establish tariff having regard to all relevant factors, including the cost of operation, characteristics of services, reasonable profit and the generally prevailing tariff. The fares so established, are required to be displayed by the airlines on their websites in compliance of sub-rule (2) of Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. Airlines remain compliant to the regulations as long as the fare charged by them does not exceeds the fare structure displayed on their website. Any instance of predatory tariffs can be brought to the attention of the Director General of Civil Aviation so that action can be taken under sub-rule (4) of Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. Anti-competitive practices are also within the purview and regulation of the Competition Commission of India.

Pricing deregulation has allowed competition to bring down prices dramatically in India, making it one of the lowest-fare markets in the world.  Indian airlines follow globally accepted dynamic pricing practices. Please note that only between 1% and 2% of tickets are transacted at the highest fare basket.  A capping of fares could raise prices for the 98-99% of the passengers. The government is cognizant of emergencies or natural calamities, which cause a sudden surge in aviation demand.  In such cases, the Ministry works with airlines to create more supply by re-routing aircraft to the affected areas and ensuring stable prices.

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