Replying to queries at the meeting of his ministry's consultative committee on Thursday, Puri also said domestic air traffic is increasing day by day and has now reached about 3 lakh passengers a day, an official statement said on Friday.
Puri also explained the Members of Parliament about various steps taken by this ministry during the COVID-9 pandemic for the benefit of people as well as the aviation sector, said the statement. "He informed about the fare bands introduced with floor price and ceiling price. He further said that in the summer schedule, as domestic traffic would increase more, the fare bands and some other restrictions are likely to be done away with," the statement added.
The minister also informed about the UDAN scheme giving details of the bidding process and the routes, the statement said. It added that the minister said four rounds of biddings have been done and more than 700 routes have been sanctioned.
Also, over 300 routes have been operationalised under the scheme, the minister stated, as per the statement. Terming therecently-launched Darbhanga airport in Bihar as one of the successful examples under the UDAN scheme, Puri further provided information about airports and flights in Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh as well to the members of the committee, it said.
The committee members made suggestions about airport privatisation, opening up of new airports, expansion of existing airports, and flying training organisations, among others, the statement said.
What are fare bands and why were they introduced?
In May last year, the Centre announced that flight routes have been classified into 7 bands adding that all routes within the country will fall within the 7 slots. He said on the basis of these bands, air fare limit will be set.
The aviation minister said that flight fares will have minimum limit of Rs 3,500 and maximum limit of Rs 10,000.
In the case of Delhi, Mumbai, the minimum fare would be Rs 3,500 for a journey between 90-120 minutes, maximum fare would be Rs 10,000.
Also 40% of seats have to be sold at a fare less than the midpoint of the band. For example, midpoint of Rs 3,500 & Rs 10,000 is Rs 6,700. So 40% of the seats have to be sold at a price less than Rs 6,700. This was done to ensure that fares don't go out of control, Civil Aviation Secretary had said.