Consumer Issues
IndiGo, Jet Airways charged higher fares in July

DGCA data says IndiGo, Jet Airways and its no-frill arm JetKonnect charged an average of about 10-15% higher fares than other airlines during July

New Delhi: No-frill carrier IndiGo and Jet Airways have charged higher fares in several sectors than all other Indian carriers in July when the overall average airfares dropped due to lean passenger traffic, reports PTI.


According to data from the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) IndiGo, Jet Airways and its no-frill arm JetKonnect charged an average of about 10-15% higher fares than other airlines.


The DGCA fare analysis for July showed that there was an overall dip in air fares in the lean travel month compared to those in June.


The fares dropped in 37 out of 48 sectors, mostly to non -metro Tier-II and Tier-III cities. The analysis, however, does not include major trunk routes on which the airlines have most flights and carry most of their passengers.


While the highest fall in fares was recorded on Delhi- Gorakhpur route by Rs6.3 a kilometre, the highest increase was averaged at Rs2.1 per km on Mumbai-Nanded sector, the analysis showed.


On Delhi-Dibrugarh route, IndiGo charged Rs9,425 as the average one-way fare compared with the industry average of Rs8,361, while its average fare on Delhi-Dabolim (Goa) route was Rs7,836 compared with the industry average of Rs7,625.


Jet Airways charged Rs12,001 and JetKonnect Rs12,621 on Leh-Delhi sector, compared to the industry average of Rs11,013. The Air India fare on this route was Rs10,948.


Similarly, Jet's average fare on Port Blair-Delhi route was Rs10,377, compared to Air India's Rs8,027 and industry average of Rs9,182.


The high airfares have been a major reason for domestic air travel, recording the steepest fall in seven years in July when 45.4 lakh people flew, 10% less than 50.4 lakh recorded in the same month last year.


While airline officials blame the high fares on rising fuel cost and hike in user development fees in Delhi and Mumbai, a financial think-tank cited the sharp rise in airfares as a reason to slash its forecast on air passenger traffic growth this year from 11% to 7%.


"We now expect air passenger traffic to grow by 7% in 2012-13 as against our earlier estimate of 11%," the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said in its latest report.


Reliance Capital launches SIP for MF through SMS

Under the 'Invest Easy' initiative, investors will be able to start a SIP for mutual fund with Reliance Capital by sending an SMS through their registered mobile numbers

Mumbai: Reliance Capital Asset Management (RCAM) on Wednesday launched a systematic investment plan (SIP) in mutual funds through SMS under its 'Invest Easy' initiative, reports PTI.


As per the initiative, investors will be able to start a SIP by sending an SMS through their registered mobile numbers.


"SIP through SMS is the latest service offering from RCAM. This feature will make it cost efficient and convenient for over 900 million mobile users across the country to participate and make investments in mutual funds," Reliance Capital Asset Management chief executive Sundeep Sikka said in a statement.


This new feature has been launched under the company's 'Invest Easy' initiative, which aims to use technology for making it convenient for customers to invest in mutual funds.


"We already have over 2.5 lakh customers under the 'Invest Easy' initiative that allows investors to transact online on the net, on their mobiles, through call center and now using SMS. A large number of our customers are already migrating to the online platform and we see this number growing exponentially through this facility," Sikka said.


He said that the company would strengthen its reach among small-ticket investors through this initiative.


BEL-Thales JV to make radars for civilian, defence use in India

France-based Thales will hold 26% stake while BEL would hold the rest in the JV that would manufacture radars for Indian and global markets

New Delhi: India's state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and France-based Thales have agreed to form a joint venture company in India to design, develop, market and supply civilian and defence radars in local and global markets, reports PTI.
"BEL and Thales are delighted to announce that boards of both companies have approved the formation of a joint venture company subject...The company will be dedicated to design, development, marketing, supply and support of civilian and select defence radars for Indian and global markets," the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
Thales will hold 26% stake in the company - the maximum shareholding permitted for a foreign company in a defence joint venture in India. Bharat Electronics will own the majority 74%, it said.
The formation of the new company is subject to approvals from the governments of India and France, the statement said.
BEL, a defence PSU, has been making radars for the Indian armed forces, including the Indra-II and the Rajendra radars.
It also provides support to the armed forces in maintaining their radars procured from foreign sources.
Thales has also been a major player in the Indian defence sector and recently won a $2.3 billion contract with Dassault Aviation from India for upgrading IAF's Mirage-2000 aircraft fleet.


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