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MPs want airlines to cut fares

December 23, 2008 19:15 IST
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The demand for reduction in air fares echoed at a meeting of a Parliamentary Committee, with several MPs demanding that airlines should pass on the benefits of the drastic cut in oil prices to their customers.

Also, in view of threats of terror attacks, the members of the Consultative Committee of the Civil Aviation Ministry asked the government to take stringent security measures at all airports and other aviation facilities across the country, an official spokesperson said.

They also wanted that new technologies should be used to upgrade aviation security systems and the Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who chaired the meeting, said their concerns were being addressed.

On the demand for cutting of air fares, Patel had himself asked airlines earlier to consider cutting fares to reciprocate the steps taken by the government to reduce their operational costs, particularly the expenses on jet fuel.

Major private carriers have so far slashed the fuel surcharge on tickets by Rs 400, even as Air India was working on cutting the base fares.

Responding to developing of infrastructure in the North-East, Patel assured that setting up of an airport or an airstrip at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh would be "taken up at right earnest and expedited".

He said Civil Aviation Ministry would hold a meeting with the Defence Ministry to clear problems related to upgrading airports in the northeastern region, including those at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Rupsi and Bagdogra airports.

On issues raised by members about improvement of the system of giving licences to pilots, Patel said he would ask the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to take steps to resolve the problems faced by the applicants.

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