Feb 16, 2009
I was looking for airfares from Bangalore to Delhi two weeks back, and was pleasantly surprised to see rock bottom prices offered by most airlines. The best airfare, with all taxes and surcharges inclusive, was less than Rs.2500(one week fare, midweek flight), the lowest I have seen ever. The reduction in aviation fuel prices had a good effect in the prices going down.
But it seems like a shocker to see the same prices today. The cheapest available ticket costs more than double. No wonder that the Civil Aviation minister suspects something wrong here, and muses about possible cartelization.
Having understood that the tough competition and rock bottom prices do not do good to them in the long run, there is a good possibility that the airlines would have come together to jack up the prices. The collective increase in prices and the minister's comments have brought sufficient attention for MRTPC to initiate an inquiry(See http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News'By'Industry/Transportation/Airlines''Aviation/MRTPC'to'probe'uniform'air'fare'hike/articleshow/4120859.cms).
It is always a welcome thing to have low fares, but at prices like Rs.2500 or less for a flight from Bangalore to Delhi, the business would have been unsustainable in the long run. Though hiking prices is wise in the long run to ensure that there are enough airlines operating, and good competition to make businesses run efficiently and stay passenger friendly, a cartel, if exists, would defeat the whole purpose.
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The Fishy Airfare Hikes
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