Airlines are free to “fix reasonable tariff under the provisions,” the civil aviation ministry informed the Parliament Thursday in response to a query whether the Jammu & Kashmir government had brought to its notice the “irrationally exorbitant” airfares to destinations in the state, particularly during winter.
“This ministry had received a communication from the Jammu & Kashmir government requesting regulation of airfares of carriers operating in the Jammu and Srinagar sectors so that price stability is brought about and the cost of air travel is controlled within reasonable limits,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
“In response it has been highlighted by the ministry that the airlines are free to fix reasonable tariff under the provisions… keeping in mind, inter alia, the market, demand, seasonality, and other market forces,” the junior minister said.
Some airlines offer discounted airfares on advance bookings under various schemes even during peak seasons, the minister said, adding “airlines remain compliant with the regulations as long as the airfare charged by them does not exceed the displayed fare structure on their website.”
The ministry is pitching for bringing aviation turbine fuel (ATF) under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Sinha said.
Currently, jet fuel or ATF is not under the GST ambit and the levy on it varies from state to state.
Jet fuel accounts for a significant chunk of an airline’s operational costs which also has an impact on air ticket prices.
(Picture for representation purpose)