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DGCA asks airlines to increase number of flights to curb airfare

PW Bureau

Officials said that all the airlines have been asked to bring an “immediate” medium-term plan to augment the additional capacity in the market New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked all airlines to come up with individual medium-term plans by Wednesday with a view to enhance the availability of domestic flights to curb the rising airfares, government sources said. Airfares have traced a feverish rise over the span of the last few weeks due to a steep decline in the number of flights available due to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and three-fourths of Jet Airways’ 119-strong aircraft fleet. “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has been meeting with the airlines continuously so that they augment their ad,” a senior government official said.

Immediate plan to address rising airfares

Officials said that all the airlines have been asked to bring an “immediate” medium-term plan to augment the additional capacity in the market and think of ways to increase the overall availability of flights.

The backdrop

The news comes just a week after the DGCA approved the seven-month-long summer schedule, beginning March 31, for SpiceJet, Vistara, IndiGo, Air India and GoAir. For Jet Airways, the aviation regulator had approved a schedule only till April 26. The action plan that the airlines have to come up with will be over and above the summer action plan. As Jet withdrew flights from several routes, budget airline IndiGo rolled out new flights on several international and domestic networks. To fill in the gap, Air Asia is also going to start additional flights on Mumbai-Bengaluru route and Mumbai-Kochi route from April 15 onwards.