Global air fares down as skies open: minister

New Delhi, March 23 | Updated: Mar 24 2005, 05:40am hrs
The governments decision to open up the global skies by allowing competition from private airlines and by liberalising international air connectivity has led to fares on overseas flights coming down sharply, civil aviation minister Praful Patel has said.

With increase in international connectivity to/from India, fare levels on international sectors have come down sharply, which has benefited the passengers travelling to/from India, Mr Patel informed Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Air-India has also reduced its fares by 10-20% on different routes to remain competitive, he said.

In order to achieve profitability/viability, both A-I and Indian Airlines need to offer competitive fares and reduce costs, he said, adding the profits of A-I dipped to Rs 92.33 crore in 2003-04 from Rs 133.86 crore in 2002-03, while IA achieved turnaround and registered a profit of Rs 44.17 crore in 2003-04 against losses of Rs 192.56 crore in 2002-03.