Competition Commission again probes air fares movement

NEW DELHI, June 15: Amid sharp fluctuations in air fares, Competition Commission is once again probing whether cartelisation among airliners is influencing the movement of ticket prices.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI), has the mandate to keep a tab on unfair trade practices at market place, has started the investigation into the matter after getting a reference from a Parliamentary panel.
A source close to the development said the Commission is investigating the movement of air fares to check whether there are anti-competitive practices involved.
“We are investigating the air fares issue,” the source told PTI.
It could not be immediately ascertained when the Commission began its fresh probe into the matter.
Competition Commission had looked into the matter of air fares movement in the past and on those occasions, it could not find evidence of cartelisation. Earlier, the fair watchdog had found that air ticket prices were moving in tandem with the forces of demand and supply.
Since January this year, SpiceJet in particular had initiated a fare war on several occasions, forcing other airlines to follow suit by frequently providing steep discounted advance purchase tickets.
This was apparently done keeping in mind the competition from the new airline AirAsia India, which has been promising tickets at 35 per cent cheaper than the existing rates. AirAsia launched its operations on June 12. (PTI)


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