New Delhi: Budget carrier Indigo has imposed a fuel surcharge on domestic as well as international services from Friday. With other carriers such as SpiceJet and Akasa Air also announcing plans to follow suit, flight tickets will become costlier in India. As the fuel surcharge comes in addition to the differential pricing which already exists, it would deal a big blow to passengers. The fuel surcharge has been fixed depending on the travel distance, with the maximum amount being Rs 1,000. Considering the fuel surcharge, ticket rates will go up by at least Rs 800 for services between the Gulf countries and India. In the domestic sector, the maximum increase would be on flights on the Delhi-Kerala route.
According to Indigo airline officials, the surcharge was imposed in view of the steady rise in prices of aviation fuel. The extra expenses in this regard have been passed on to the passengers, they explained. The Central government had increased the prices of aviation fuel by 5 per cent earlier in October. In Delhi, the price went up by Rs 5779.84 to reach Rs 1,18,199.17 for a kilolitre. This was the fourth increase since July. “Aviation fuel constitutes about 40 per cent of the total operating expenses on an aircraft. When the price of fuel goes up, we are forced to hike the ticket fare,” said an Indigo official.
Meanwhile, the airline sector is hoping that the Centre would intervene in the matter. However, the Civil Aviation Ministry has taken the stand that airline companies have the freedom to decide ticket fares. Recently, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had repeated this position of the Centre to Parliament members from Kerala who had met him with a petition to reduce the ticket fares from Gulf countries to Kerala.
A glance at the fuel surcharge
Up to 500 km – Rs 300
501-1000 km – Rs 400
1001-1500 km – Rs 550
1501-2500 km – Rs 650
2501-3500 km – Rs 800
From 3501 km – Rs 1000
Hike in fares on Kerala route
Dubai – Kochi (air distance 2780 km) – Rs 800
Delhi – Kochi (2040 km) – Rs 650
Mumbai – Kochi (1060 km) – Rs 550
Chennai - Kochi (527 km) – Rs 400
Bengaluru – Kochi (370 km) – Rs 300