The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday allowed airlines to unbundle certain services such as preferential seats, meals, use of airport lounges, check-in baggage, transport of sports and musical equipment, and make them chargeable.
This step by the airlines regulator is expected to help carriers that are staring at huge losses because of covid-19.
“On the basis of various feedback received, it is felt that many a times these services provided by the airlines may not be required by the passenger,” the DGCA said. “Considering the fact that unbundling of services and charges thereto has the potential to make the basic fare more affordable and provides consumers an option of paying for the services he/she wishes to avail.”
DGCA has also allowed airlines to offer zero baggage or no check-in fares for passengers without check-in baggage, which is lower than the usual ticket price.
However, airlines seeking to unbundle their services will have to first inform the regulator about their product offering and prices before they are made available to the public.
Baggage fees are one of the top generators of ancillary revenue for airlines globally, said an industry expert, seeking anonymity. “The latest step by the DGCA could add 7-10% to the topline of airlines,” he said.