DGCA orders airlines to improve transparency in air fares

Amid reports of airlines jacking up their fares to exorbitant levels on busy routes like Delhi-Mumbai, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued instructions that airlines must regularly make their fare structure public. Carriers have been directed to publish their fares on their websites and in daily newspapers on the first day of every month.

"To maintain transparency in tariff publication, all the scheduled domestic airlines will have to furnish a copy of the route-wise tariffs across its network in various fare categories, in the manner it is offered in the market to the DGCA on the first day of every calendar month. Any significant and noticeable change in the established tariff so filed with DGCA shall be reported to DGCA within 24 hours of effecting such changes," the DGCA said in a statement on Sunday. 

DGCA said this step has been taken in view of inadequate information available in the public domain on airfares, and reports of scheduled domestic airlines charging excessively high tariffs for various flights across their network during periods of high demand, causing a lot of inconvenience to the travelling public and drawing adverse comments on airfares. 

This will enable the people to better compare the prices on offer for travelling in a certain period, the DGAC said. 

The regulator has taken this decision after receiving information from airlines about sudden increase in fares on certain sectors like Delhi- Mumbai and other metros.

But will airlines be able to comply? Most say fares change even during the day, depending on seat availability in each flight.