New Delhi:Â Terming SpiceJet’s offer of rupee one fare across its domestic network as “predatory” and a “malpractice”, aviation regulator DGCA on Tuesday came down heavily on the no-frill carrier and asked it to stop such pricing immediately. Hours after SpiceJet offered fares as low as rupee one valid for domestic travel till next year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shot off a strongly-worded directive to the airline asking it to stop the three-day offer “immediately”.
Such pricing was “not only predatory”, but it amounted to “malpractice” under Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules relating to air tariff, official sources said.
Rule 135, under which the directive was issued, says: “When the Director General (of Civil Aviation) is satisfied that any air transport undertaking has established excessive or predatory tariff…or has indulged in oligopolistic practice, he may, by order, issue directions to such air transport undertaking.”
The sources also reminded that such one rupee tickets were earlier offered by the erstwhile Air Deccan, which was making losses and was later bought over by liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines that has now folded up.
Apart from the latest rupee one offer, the airline also announced two special schemes, offering the travellers Rs 799 and Rs 1499 ticket prices, excluding taxes and airport fees, with a booking window of three days, starting from Tuesday. The travel period for the tickets booked under these schemes would remain valid till March 28 next year from this July.