21 planes to offset grounded fleet

Over three months, between March and May, domestic airlines will induct nearly 21 planes to help reduce the impact of reduction in capacity due to the grounding of over 95% of Jet Airways fleet, a top official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Tuesday.

“From the beginning of March eight planes have been added by airlines. Another three planes are likely to be inducted in the next week or two. In May also we are expecting 10 new planes to come,” Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Pradeep Singh Kharola told reporters.

On Tuesday, Jet Airways had an active fleet of five planes as compared to 123 in February.

The senior government official added that fares on 40 high-density routes were also being monitored by aviation watchdog DGCA, which found that on nearly 10 of these routes there was an increase in fares by 10-30% as compared to March 7 and 14. Subsequently, the DGCA met all domestic airlines on Tuesday and advised them to not charge exorbitant airfares.

High airfares were found on weekends, routes connecting metros and those that have seen a fall in frequency of flights.

The Ministry has also convened separate meetings with airports and airlines on Thursday on the issue of fares and capacity enhancement.


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