ibnlive » Business

Feb 13, 2009 at 01:30am IST

DGCA slams airlines, pushes for fair pricing

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has come down heavily on airlines, asking them to clearly show the split in air fares in their tickets. They say they will come out with directives on transparency in pricing.

After Network 18 first reported that airliners had simultaneously abolished lower pricing brackets for travellers. The Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel immediately threatened a cartelisation probe.

Further, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has now come down heavily on airliners and has asked them to clearly show the split in air fares in their tickets. That is because the DGCA believes airliners are passing on surcharges as taxes.

On an average, airlines charge between Rs 225 - 233 as airport charge, Rs 150 as Congestion charge and between Rs 1950 - 2700 as fuel surcharge. These components are added on to your basic fare.

The DGCA says this paints the Government as the villain, while the charges are pocketed by the airlines.

However, airline companies deny the DGCA charges. They say the simultaneous fare hikes was not part of any cartelisation move.

"We are not involved in any cartelisation. All airlines are fighting for a share of the declining pie. We are completely transparent. The DGCA is welcome to come and inspect the books of Kingfisher Airlines and determine our costs and I don't think they will find anything wrong," said Chairman, UB group and Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya.

Apart from this, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commisision under the Department of Company Affairs has also ordered a probe on the air fares hike in 'unison' and will have to submit the report in two months time.