Indigo: Govt must consider raising upper limit on domestic airfares

Moreover, India’s largest airline IndiGo is likely to introduce a business class in certain international flights as it is looking to expand to regions like Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, he said.
Indigo: Govt must consider raising upper limit on domestic airfares

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Civil Aviation should consider increasing the upper limits on domestic airfares as the rising fuel prices has become a “real problem”, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta has said.

Moreover, India’s largest airline IndiGo is likely to introduce a business class in certain international flights as it is looking to expand to regions like Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, he said.

The ministry had imposed lower and upper limits on domestic airfares based on flight duration when services were resumed on May 25, 2020, after a two-month lockdown due to the pandemic. For example, airlines currently cannot charge a passenger less than Rs 2,900 (excluding GST) and more than Rs 8,800 (excluding GST) on flights with duration of less than 40 minutes.

The lower caps were imposed to help the airlines that have been struggling financially due to travel restrictions. The upper caps were imposed so that passengers are not charged huge amounts when the demand for seats is high. The fuel prices have been rising since the Russia-Ukraine war began on February 24.

Indigo: Govt must consider raising upper limit on domestic airfares
IndiGo to conduct internal study to better handle specially-abled

Dutta said the two-class configuration is being considered for A321XLR planes, which will be delivered to IndiGo by Airbus at the end of 2024 and will operate in international sectors. IndiGo currently has a fleet of 275 aircraft and all of them are narrow-body planes such as A320neos and A321neos with just economy class seats.

IndiGo had on May 9 said the boy was denied permission to board the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight as he was visibly in panic. Dutta, said the airline would not appeal against the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) decision to impose the fine. “Some people are asking me this question - are you going to appeal? Of course not,” he said. The official said the airline will take note of the DGCA findings and implement each one of them.

“So, they have said a few things. They have said that in a situation like this, call the airport doctor. And yes, we have put that in our SOPs (standard operating procedures) that whenever a situation like this arises, always consult the airport doctor,” he mentioned. The DGCA has said IndiGo should try and enhance the training of staff in terms of sensitivity, he said.

“We already have robust training in place to deal with people with special needs. We are going to do a big case study on this and talk to all our coaches (who train the cabin crew members as well as the ground staff) and see what we can learn. “I think what the DGCA has said is that you should try and calm the passenger down,” Dutta noted. The IndiGo CEO said the airline needs to ask itself in situations like this that what can it do about calming the distressed passenger. “So, we are doing our own internal case study,” he added.

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