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Air travel to become cheaper with 'super apex fares'
May 05, 2003 19:04 IST
Air fares are likely to become cheaper from June 15 with the introduction of 'super apex fares' by domestic airlines.
"The new fares are to stimulate growth, improve the bottomline of the airline and are aimed at carving a new market," Jet Airways chairman Ramesh Goyal told newspersons on Monday.
"The apex fares introduced last year had helped to create a market by itself or else we would have gone down by 8-9 per cent," he said, adding the new fares were aimed at new customers who travel by road and rail.
He said it was necessary for government to reduce route and navigation charges as suggested by International Air Transport Association to help the airline industry, otherwise the industry would turn sick.
A civil aviation ministry-appointed committee was looking at this proposal to lower charges and was expected to submit its report shortly, he said.
"There is need for government to take a serious look at the aviation sector before it becomes unviable like the many carriers in Europe and the US," he said.
Referring to the Saheb Singh Verma episode, he said the enquiry was still on and, "We will be standing by our employees."
Asked if Jet was planning an initial public offering or a private placement, Goyal said the proposal would be considered only after two years as the industry was going through one of its worst phases.
Goyal said leading investment bankers and venture capitalists have shown interest in the company, but the present time was not suitable for either of those options.
He said officials of both Jet and Indian Airlines have been meeting a number of chief ministers for reduction in sales tax on aviation turbine fuel or to follow the example of Andhra Pradesh, where it had been lowered to 4 cent.
Andhra Pradesh was also the only state to lower the tax.
Jet has also gone through a turbulent time and as a result it deferred a proposal to induct Embraer 175 aircraft by one year, he said.
The regional jet was to replace the turbo-prop aircraft currently with the airline.
Jet has taken delivery of a 172-seater Boeing 737-900 and it was due to arrive in Delhi on Friday. The second aircraft, which has been swapped with 737-400, would arrive in July.
Goyal was hopeful that Jet would be allowed to fly to foreign destinations as only 33 per cent of the bilateral rights were being used by both Indian Airlines and Air-India.
"We are ready to fill in and create an image for the country by operating to overseas destinations," he added.Jet, with a fleet of 41 aircraft, has a 44 per cent market share.
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