Need to prescribe upper limit on air cancellation charges: Parliamentary committee

There is a need to rationalise and prescribe an upper limit on air cancellation charges, said a Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report tabled in Rajya Sabha on Friday.

“The committee reiterates its recommendation in this regard, made in its 276th and 291st reports, requiring the airlines to restrict not more than 50 per cent of the base fare as cancellation charges,” the report noted.

The panel took serious note of the high cancellation charges levied by the airlines operating in the country, it noted.

“The Committee expresses its deep concern that there is no uniformity in the cancellation charges levied by the airlines,” it stated.

The tax and fuel surcharge collected should be refunded to the passengers on cancellation of tickets, it mentioned.

“The committee hopes that the (Civil Aviation) Ministry would be able to persuade the airlines for such rationalisation in the interest of the passengers,” stated the report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.

On the topic of the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, the committee said that only 315 out of 778 routes awarded under it have been operationalised so far.

The committee desired that the Civil Aviation Ministry should examine “the reasons for non-commencement of routes that have already been awarded under the UDAN Scheme; identify the bottlenecks in this regard; and chalk out strategic steps to address the issues involved”.

Under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, financial incentives from the Centre, state governments and airport operators are extended to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports, and keep airfares affordable.

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