Fly­ers, air­lines get fare deal in avi­a­tion pol­icy

GAMECHANGER? Cabi­net nod to cap air­fares for hour-long flights at `2,500

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The Union cabi­net on Wed­nes­day ap­proved a new civil avi­a­tion pol­icy that aims to pro­mote flights to smaller cities as well as to overseas des­ti­na­tions.

The first goal is to be met by cap­ping fares on re­gional flights to Rs2,500 an hour, and giv­ing air­lines in­cen­tives to fly routes no one does at present. The sec­ond will be at­tained by al­low­ing new air­lines to fly overseas im­me­di­ately if they have at least 20 air­craft or 20% of their seats de­ployed on do­mes­tic routes.

The catch is that fly­ers to big cities will have to shell out a lit­tle ex­tra for a cess whose col­lec­tions will com­pen­sate air­lines for fly­ing re­gional routes un­der the R2,500 fare cap. “It will be a very very small levy,” said civil avi­a­tion sec­re­tary RN Choubey said. The de­tails will be in the re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity scheme whose draft will be put up for pub­lic dis­cus­sions in the next 10 days.

“The #CivilAvi­a­tionPol­icy ap­proved to­day by the Cabi­net will trans­form the sec­tor & greatly ben­e­fit pas­sen­gers… (it) gives an im­pe­tus to af­ford­abil­ity, re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity, safety, in­fra­struc­ture, which is vi­tal for #Trans­form­ingIn­dia,” tweeted Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

Call­ing it In­dia’s first ever in­te­grated civil avi­a­tion pol­icy, civil avi­a­tion min­is­ter Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju said it will be a “game-changer for the sec­tor”.

The changes, to be­gin with, were vis­i­ble in the way air­lines re­sponded. CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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