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The Centre is unlikely to intervene in the pricing mechanism of the aviation sector despite a rise in the number of consumer complaints. According to a report in Mint, the aviation ministry may not intervene in the issue of airlines charging prices for particular seats on a flight.
"Like any deregulated market, the government does not intervene in the pricing mechanism for services. The airline market is highly competitive and price-elastic. Consumers are free to choose from a variety of airlines. Prices are transparently declared in advance," an official told Mint.
The report added that if any airline charges Rs 150-400 for window and aisle seats, they may earn an additional Rs 60,000-70,000 per flight. In some airlines, even middle seats are charged at a similar rate. The front and exit seats with extra legroom cost Rs 800-1,500 extra.
A panel, however, said that all the seats must have the same fare.
"The number of free seats is increasingly getting lesser and lesser as airlines look at ways to improve revenue performance amid a highly hostile cost environment when it comes to foreign exchange and jet fuel prices. Globally, airlines are also charging for seat selection. However, there has been a common issue being faced as far as family seating is concerned. There could be a review of this practice in the US," an analyst told Mint on the condition of anonymity.
In 2013, the DGCA allowed airlines to charge an additional amount for services like meals, preferential seats and carriage of sports and musical instruments. This was done to reduce the fare for the passengers who do not have any extra luggage.
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First Published: Tue, November 22 2022. 13:35 IST