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Fares fly as Jet Airways crashes, Air India offers special fares
Considering that all the flights of Jet have been pulled out of the market, it must have caused the load factor of the airlines to scale over 90%
Praveena Sharma | Updated: Apr 19, 2019, 05:05 AM IST
Employees of Jet gather to demand clarification on unpaid salaries at its headquarters in Mumbai on Thursday
On Thursday as the cash-starved Jet Airways cancelled all flights to temporarily suspend its operation fares on domestic sectors soared.
On the hand, state-owned carrier Air India, “as a goodwill gesture”, offered special standard fares to Jet customers with tickets from international destinations common with it. The government airline said it was doing this to “mitigate” Jet passengers’ hardship on the international routes.
When DNA Money checked fares on Mumbai-Jaipur route for today’s one-way air travel on some of the online booking portals late Thursday evening, they were ranging between Rs14,000 and Rs24,000. And these prices were for budget airlines like IndiGo and GoAir.
For instance, one of the portals threw up a fare of Rs14785 for a non-stop 7.55-pm flight of IndiGo while a ticket for a GoAir flight at 5.45-pm on the same day was priced at Rs23,991.
On a normal day, last-minute fares rarely ever go up to these levels.
Jitender Bhargava, aviation writer and former Air India senior official, told DNA Money the spurt in the fares was caused by mechanical revenue model that come into play when an airline’s plane load factor shoots over 90%.
Considering that all the flights of Jet have been pulled out of the market, it must have caused the load factor of the airlines to scale over 90%.
However, Bhargava said airlines must show compassion to passengers and behave responsible by keeping fares at “reasonable levels” at a time when flyers are distressed due to the sudden shutdown of the full service carrier.
“Our airlines are not known to be compassionate. They have demonstrated this repeatedly when there is a natural calamity or total disruption of flights on a certain sector. They jack up the fares beyond any reasonable limits. Ideally, the government must have a role to play but most of the time they say it is an unregulated industry and so why should the government come in. But if the airlines do not behave responsibly somebody has to crack the whip. I am a firm supporter that you (airlines) cannot charge beyond a certain limit,” he said.
Citing an example, he said recently when European airline Wow closed shop, other carriers in the region came up with what was they called “rescue fares” for Wow passengers; “this meant that if you are a ticket-holder of Wow and you want travel at short notice because you have already planned your trip then you will not be charged an exorbitant fare. You will be given a concessional fare. The airlines did this because they understood what a person is going through at that agonising moment when he has already paid the fare. I am looking forward to a day when our carriers display this kind of human touch”.
Air India has displayed compassion by coming out with special fares for Jet passengers.
“Passenger holding confirmed RT tickets on Jet Airways will allowed to avail a special standard passenger fare from the destination common with AI,” it said in a circular issued by it on Thursday.
In the past, the government has taken proactive step and prevented airlines from cashing in from the desperation of flyers during such crisis in the sector. They have come out with circulars directing airlines not to jack up fares to abnormally high levels.
Bhargava said the government held several meetings to take stock of the situation arising from Jet’s collapse on Thursday.
B S Bhullar, chief of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), could not be contacted by DNA Money for a comment.
“They (government) must crack the whip. Not just go by their assurances or their promises. If there is any violation come down harshly on them (airlines) because if they are benefiting from other airline’s troubles today then tomorrow it could be their airline which could be in trouble and somebody else will be benefiting from that,” he said.
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SOURCE: http://www.dnaindia.com/business/report-fares-fly-as-jet-airways-crashes-air-india-offers-special-fares-2741091Air travel india and Video