DGCA sets up unit to help check abrupt fare hikes by airlines

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set up a tariff analysis unit that will regularly monitor route-wise tariff across airlines' networks to help check abrupt hiking of fares by airlines.

"The DGCA has been given powers under rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 to direct airlines to establish tariff having regard to all factors, publish the tariff on its website or two daily newspapers, maintain all records relating to tariff and produce on demand by DGCA for inspection," civil aviation minister Praful Patel told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

He added that the DGCA may issue directions to airlines in case they indulge in price gouging or engage oligopolistic practice, he added.

"They (airlines) have been asked to submit their responses to DGCA by tomorrow," new civil aviation secretary Nasim Ahmad Zaidi told reporters after assuming charge from M Madhavan Nambiar yesterday.

In the backdrop of the recent events when excessive tariff was charged by a number of carriers on different routes, the airlines were issued directions to furnish established tariff route-wise and fare category-wise on a monthly basis and also to notify any appreciable changes to the regulator within 24 hours of affecting such a change.

According to the minister, the intention behind such an exercise is to keep the passengers informed on pricing pattern of airlines.