Set in 7 bands as per flight duration; only web check-in
A day after announcing the resumption of domestic passenger flights from May 25, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday capped the maximum fare for three months and made it mandatory for passengers to reach the airport two hours in advance for thermal screening. On the busiest route like Delhi-Mumbai sector, pricing will be in the range of `3,500 to `10,000.
Announcing the new fare structures, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday that to check that airlines are not selling tickets at higher price, 40 per cent of the tickets will have to be sold below the mean average of upper and lower fare range.
Earlier, the Ministry issued standard operating procedures (SoPs) for airlines, airports passengers and other stakeholders. As per SoPs, passengers are required to reach the airport two hours in advance for thermal screening.
Explaining the new fare structures, the Minister said that flight durations have been divided in 7 categories — 0-30 minutes, 30-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes, 120-150 minutes, 150-180 minutes, and 180-210 minutes.
“For a journey between 90-120 minutes the minimum fare will be `3,500 and maximum would be `10,000. The fare band is split into different fare buckets. 40 per cent of the seats have to be sold at a fare less than the midpoint of the band,” Puri said, adding that airlines will have to follow ticket price guidelines issued by it when they restart some domestic flights.
The Minister further explained that for example, midpoint of `3,500 and `10,000 is `6,700. So 40 per cent of the seats have to be sold at a price less than `6,700.
“This is how we’re ensuring that fares don’t go out of control. The fares will be regulated and will be within a fixed range”, Puri added.
In addition, the capping is applicable only to base fares. Taxes, such as user development fee, GST (Goods and Services Tax) will be charged additionally. Puri also said that there will be no need to keep middle seats vacant.
He said only one-third of the approved 2020 summer schedule list will be allowed from metro to metro and metro to non-metro cities.
“For operation from metro to metro cities, 1/3rd capacity of approved summer schedule 2020, which is more than 33.33 per cent, will be allowed. For operation from metro to non-metro cities and vice-versa, where weekly departures are greater than 100, 1/3rd capacity of approved summer schedule 2020, will be allowed,” the Minister said.
Puri said passengers will have to provide their medical details through the Aarogya Setu app or by filling up a self-declaration form. They will have to go for web-check-in as physical check-in counters in airports will not operate.
The rules included no meals on board, mandatory temperature checks for all passengers and allowing only one check-in bag for each passenger. People who were tested positive for Covid-19 will not be allowed to travel. All the passengers will have to wear masks while entering the airports and thereafter. No newspapers and magazines will be offered.
In a set of detailed guidelines, the Ministry advised the vulnerable people like the elderly, pregnant women and passengers battling health issues to avoid air travel till the coronavirus pandemic abates. People residing in the containment zone will not be allowed to travel. Only one check-in bag would be allowed and airlines will not provide any meal services in flights, the Ministry said. Boarding for a flight will commence 60 minutes before departure and boarding gate will be closed 20 minutes before departure, it said.
The Ministry also allowed resumption of services by all food and beverages (F&B) outlets on the condition that they must follow all Covid-19 precautions. “Take-away, digital payments, self-ordering booths at F&B and retail outlets to be encouraged to prevent crowding of people, it said.
Friday, 22 May 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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