The civil aviation ministry has once again started the exercise of talking with the airline firms to find a mechanism that the latter do not charge excessively during peak season thus inconveniencing passengers. At a meeting on Tuesday, ministry officials asked the airlines to correct the anomaly or else the Centre would regulate fares by capping fares route-wise. Even as the two sides look for ways to resolve the matter, a study by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation for calendar year 2014 virtually gave a clean chit to the carriers.
In its analysis, which was done route-wise, quarter-wise and carrier-wise, the DGCA had concluded that the average airfare for all scheduled domestic airlines was almost linear, reflecting the competition prevailing in the sectors. It said that the average fare on most of the routes was closer to the minimum fare being offered by the airlines, indicating that most of the tickets sold by the airlines were not at exorbitant price. The regulator had also concluded that the revenue generated by the scheduled airlines in the highest fare bucket was only a fraction of the total revenue. It was on the basis of this study then that the government had dropped the idea of regulating fares by introducing caps.