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    Domestic flight tickets to cost 5% more as COVID cases, ATF prices rise

    Domestic flight tickets to cost 5% more as COVID cases, ATF prices rise

    Domestic flight tickets to cost 5% more as COVID cases, ATF prices rise
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    The last few days had seen a decline in the number of passengers due to restrictions and imposition of compulsory RT-PCR test by various states.

    The Civil Aviation Ministry has hiked the cost of domestic flight tickets by 5 percent on Friday. The decision came as the COVID-19 cases in India are rising, with authorities having to impose stricter guidelines to curb cases.
    The hike in the minimum airfare also follows the raise in the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices. The ministry has, at least for now, decided to continue with the same 80 percent cap on the number of passengers a flight can carry.
    Taking to Twitter on Friday, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the last few days had witnessed a decline in the number of passengers largely due to restrictions and imposition of compulsory RT-PCR test by various states.
    "Due to this we have decided to retain the permissible (capacity) limit to 80 percent of the schedule," Puri said in his tweet.
    In the subsequent tweet, the civil aviation minister referred to the continuous rise in the prices of ATF, following which the government had decided to increase the minimum fare by 5 percent but the upper fare shall remain the same, he said.
    “We may open the sector for 100 percent operations when daily passenger traffic crosses 3.5 lakh on three occasions in a month,” he concluded.
    According to a report in the Business Standard, Friday’s hike was the second allowed by the government in a matter of a month. In February, the ministry extended the cap on the airline capacity, as well as fares, until March 31.
    The ticket charges for flights of 90-120-minute duration, the lower fare cap was increased to Rs 3,900 from Rs 3,500. That's not it, the maximum-chargeable cap was also increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 13,000, as per the February decision.
    Meanwhile, the novel coronavirus cases are mounting once again in India. On Thursday, the country clocked nearly 40,000 cases, the highest single-day spike, in as many as four months, raising concerns of a possible second wave. Of the new cases, Maharashtra topped the states with 25,833 cases over the past 24 hours. On Friday morning, the country had 2.71 lakh active cases.
    Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the lockdown was an option but he trusted people to follow the norms on their own.
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