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DGCA asks AirAsia to reduce frills-fee

LiveMint logoLiveMint 07-06-2014 Tarun Shukla

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has told AirAsia India that the charges for ancillary services have to be kept reasonable.

AirAsia which had announced its maiden flight from Bangalore to Goa on 12 June had said that it will not provide any free baggage to the passengers, Mint first reported on 3rd June.

That can’t be allowed DGCA has told AirAsia.

“AirAsia has been told you maybe ultra low cost but you cant fleece people,” said a senior government official who declined to be named.

AirAsia officials including CEO Mittu Chandilya were summoned by DGCA this week and told to be “reasonable,” the same official said.

Director General Prabhat Kumar has told AirAsia to offer at least 15kg check-in baggage free for every passenger with an additional charge of only `300 for the next 15kg of baggage. He has also asked the airline to reduce the fee for carrying sports equipment.

The airline has also been told to reduce the fee of allocation of premium seats which have more legroom to be limited to only 25% of the total flight. The fee will also have to be reduced from `600, as AirAsia had announced, to `500.

To be sure, while existing low-fare airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJet charge for meals, preferred seats, extra baggage, priority boarding and lounges varying from `200-600 for each service, they all allow free 15kg check-in baggage.

AirAsia India CEO Chandilya did not offer any immediate comments on the matter.

AirAsia’s India entry has been controversial with some local airlines opposing the government’s decision to allow it to operate in India.

When AirAsia India announced it was offering the first 15,000 seats for `5 plus taxes, rival IndiGo swiftly followed with promotional fares of `1 plus taxes on the same routes.

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