New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Saturday hiked the lower limit on domestic airfares from 13 per cent to 16 per cent in wake of the nationwide restrictions imposed to control the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Fare for domestic travel less than 40 minutes of duration will be hiked by Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,600, which is 13 per cent of the current fare," the Ministry said.

This is the third time this year when domestic air travel has become costlier. Earlier in February, the Aviation Ministry had hiked the lower and upper limits of domestic airfare by 10 per cent to 13 per cent.

How much costlier domestic air travel has become now with this hike?

With this hike, flights with a duration between 40 minutes to one hour will have fares at a lower limit of Rs 3,300. Earlier, the fares for such flights was capped at Rs 2,900.

On the other hand, flights with a duration between 60-90 minutes will have fares at Rs 4,000, 90-120 minutes at Rs 4,700, 150-180 minutes at Rs 6,100 and 180-210 minutes will cost Rs 7,400.

Currently, the airfare for flights in the above period is cheaper by Rs 300 to Rs 1,000. In other words, for instance, a Delhi-Mumbai flight will cost Rs 700 more than the current fare.

An increase in airfares has been attributed to the capacity of the load factors of the passengers. A sudden increase of coronavirus cases in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic showed a decrease in domestic air travel.

"In view of the sudden surge in the number of active COVID 19 cases across the country, decrease in passenger traffic and passenger load factor, the existing capacity cap of 80 per cent capacity may be read as 50 per cent capacity," the Civil Aviation Ministry said.

The domestic fare price limit will not include taxes and airport development fees (ADF), which will have to be paid by the passengers.

(With inputs from ANI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma