New Delhi (NVI): The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today allowed domestic flight operators to give concessions on ticket prices to passengers who carry no baggage or only cabin baggage.
DGCA also said that the passengers who are willing to avail the concession are required to mention the weight of their baggage at the time of booking.
The aviation regulator issued a new circular and stated that the decision to unbundle the services has been taken on the basis of various feedback received from passengers. “It is felt that many times services provided by the airlines may not be required by the passengers while travelling,” it added.
DGCA also informed that this move comes as an effort to make flying more affordable and accessible to passengers.
“Considering the fact that unbundling of services and charges thereto has the potential to make basic fare more affordable and provide consumer an option of paying for the services which they wish to avail, it has been decided by the government to allow these services to be unbundled and charged separately on opt-in basis,” the circular read.
The aviation regulator further said that as part of airline baggage policy, scheduled airlines will be allowed to offer free baggage allowance as well as zero baggage/no check-in baggage fares.
“This will be subject to the condition that the passenger booking ticket under such fare scheme is made aware of the charges that shall be applicable if the passenger turns up with the baggage for check in at the airline counter. These applicable charges shall be reasonable; prominently displayed to the passenger at the time of booking of ticket and also to be printed on the ticket,” the circular added.
DGCA has also permitted unbundling of other services like preferential seating, meal-snack-drink charges, airline lounges, sports equipment charges and musical instrument charge etc.
Notably, in December last year, the government also increased the cap on the number of domestic passenger flights that airlines were allowed to operate from the existing 70 per cent to 80 per cent of their pre-COVID levels.
All flights domestic flights were suspended after the government of India announced a nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown on March 24, 2020. However, flights resumed in a staggered manner from May 25 last year.