The government will not interfere with the air fares decided by airlines, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said today. However, the government wants aviation firms to make their pricing mechanism more transparent and wants passengers to know the mechanism adopted by the airline firms.
Mr Singh said: "What we are trying to do is make the system deciding the fares transparent. Public should know what is the bucket system and the range they have given should be reasonable."
The factors with the biggest weightage in air fares are aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and the airport charges. ATF alone constitutes 40 per cent of the running cost of the airlines.
On the issue of dues of the airline firms with the oil firms (Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum), the minister said that the dues worth Rs 4,200 crore of Air India will be cleared by the end of this financial year. The government has already announced a relief package for Air India.
For dues of private airlines, Ajit Singh said that this was an issue between the oil firms and the aviation firm and both the parties needed to resolve it among themselves.
On Kingfisher Airlines stopping the operations, Singh said: "DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has made it very clear that in order to allow them to fly again, they have to satisfy with their operational and financial plan. DGCA's concern is that there should be no safety problem. They should be able to adhere to schedule given.”
On the issue of Kingfisher Airline owing huge sums to various agencies, and also to employees, Singh said: "There will be a lot of collateral damage as you are saying if Kingfisher Airlines doesn’t fly".