Aviation

Average airfares fell 14% last year: Raju

DELHI: Average airfares dropped 18 per cent in 2016 and additional capacities can further bring down the fares, Union Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said as he disfavoured the idea of capping ticket prices.

Scheduled airlines carried more than 10 crore domestic passengers in the year ended March 2017, an increase of around 19 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, reports PTI.

Briefing reporters about the achievements of the ministry during the three years of the NDA regime on May 30, he said the aviation ecosystem has been reshaped for affordable and convenient flying.

The civil aviation minister said average fares in the country have come down by 18 per cent in 2016.

“Average airfare fell by 18 per cent in 2016 over average airfare in 2015, making air travel affordable for everyone with unprecedented capacity enhancement in aviation system,” as per a document released by the ministry at the press briefing.

There have been concerns over steep fluctuations in airfares and sometime back there have been suggestions from various quarters to have a higher limit for airfares. However, the Ministry has been of the view that prices are determined by market forces.

Referring to “simplistic suggestions” like having caps and floors on ticket prices, the minister said floors and caps would push the cost of the tickets.

“Strategies for additional capacities have to be brought in place because additional capacities will bring down prices,” he added.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on an average air ticket prices have been coming down and are less compared to many other countries.

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