India: Indigo chief wants govt to ease travel restrictions

Web report/New Delhi
Filed on June 10, 2021

Seat capacity and fares in the domestic sector have been regulated since May 2020

With Covid-19 cases declining in India and businesses opening up, the government should now stop regulating airline capacities and fares in the domestic sector, said Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo, the country’s largest carrier.

“Early on, I was okay with it because no one knew how passengers would behave,” he told the Economic Times in an interview.

“It made sense during the first wave… But at this point, I think the government should get out of the way and I’m hopeful.”

The government has been regulating capacity and fares in the domestic sector since May 2020. Later, it allowed airlines to increase fares up to 80 per cent, but reduced it to 50 per cent in June. Referring to fare regulation by the government, Dutta said it was too dynamic and no one has the knowledge for it. He dismissed suggestions that the government wanted to regulate to ensure the survival of all airlines in the post-Covid scenario.

“I do not think that is anywhere close to reality,” he said. “With the plans of several airlines, I think there is more capacity waiting to come into the market.”

Asked about the differences between the promoters of IndiGo, Dutta said this was no more an issue now. “The board meetings are back to what they used to be: joking making plans together, everything is fine,” he said. The airline also had major plans for its international operations, added Dutta.

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