Competition panel to look again at air fare issues

The Competition Commission of India today said it will seek more information on the alleged cartelisation among airlines in fixing air fares.

In late September, CCI chairman Ashok Chawla said it saw no cartelisation, maintaining that ticket prices generally respond to the supply and demand situation. Nonetheless, it had promised to take a re-look at the issue.

The issue seems to have resurfaced after Captain G R Gopinath, the founder of Deccan Airlines and pioneer of low-cost airlines in the country, recently raised the issue of cartelisation in air fares.

Chawla said today that the anti-trust panel has taken note of a statement at a public platform by Gopinath that there is cartelisation among airline companies.

"So, we have asked him to share whatever information he has ... He has asked for a meeting (with me). We are awaiting further inputs from him before we take another look at this matter," Chawla told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by a trade body in New Delhi.

However, he reiterated his position that air fares were generally moving according to market economics and the CCI had so far seen no evidence of cartelisation.