India stops 737-MAX operations, warns airlines on prices

TIL Desk/Business/New Delhi/ Following a global trend of grounding Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, India finally suspended the plane’s operations and over-flight permissions on Wednesday evening, even as hundreds of passengers were affected at airports. The government tried to protect passengers from the double whammy of high fares and reduced flight operations. Advising airlines not to go in for predatory pricing, it said that it will be monitoring key sectors to detect any high fares.

Briefing the media here, after a meeting between Ministry of Civil Aviation officials with airlines’ representatives, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said that all flights operated on Boeing 737-MAX have been grounded before 4 p.m.  In India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate 17 Boeing 737-MAX aircraft — Spice (12) and Jet (5) — though the latter’s fleet was already grounded due to various reasons.

“We have advised the airlines… that they should not use it (grounding) as a reason to hike their fares,” Kharola told reporters. “They have assured us that they will go as per normal routine. The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has said that it will be monitoring all the sectors very closely…if it is found that pricing is predatory, advisory will be issued.”

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