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May 20, 2002 | 1245 IST
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New air fare structure soon

Rumi Dutta

The international airlines community has worked out a revamped tariff scheme, less than two months after it had introduced a fare structure with emphasis on transparency and customer convenience.

The last change in the tariff structure was enforced on April 1. The new decision was taken in a meeting of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on May 17.

Under the 'apex' fare category, a purchase could be made 10 days before departure, instead of 21 days, which was the earlier practice. Under the 'pex' category, a purchase can be made five days in advance, instead of seven.

Also, the refund penalty on fully unutilised tickets now stands reduced to 25 per cent from 50 per cent previously. The rebooking fee for outbound sectors now stand reduced to Rs 3,000 from Rs 5,000 previously.

Sources in the airline industry said, "The amendments to the rule of the special DGCA fare levels are in place with effect from today. The idea was to customise the fare structure keeping in mind the India passengers."

For instance, the Mumbai-London-Mumbai fare under the Apex and Pex category is Rs 32,200 and Rs 37,800, respectively.

The third category, which is the immediate flying or less than 5 day advance purchase rate of the route is Rs 43,500.

However, the seat allocation under the apex category is far lees than the demand. There are hardly 5-10 seats under this category out of the 200 economy class seats available. While there are around 15-20 seats available under the pex category, majority of seats are under the instant booking class.

The strategy of seat allocation under the different categories entirely depends on the airline and on the season.

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