CCI to look into rise in air cargo prices by several airlines

Hindustan Times, January 15, 2013

Is the sudden increase in air cargo charges bothering you? Competition Commission of India (CCI) could look into the matter as consumer body Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) urged the fair play regulator to intervene and investigate the increased cargo charges by most of the airlines at a almost similar quantum around the same time. According to CUTS, which has prepared a preliminary information report, air cargo charges went up by 15% in 2012.

It has also sent the report to CCI, urging the latter to take suo moto action.

The report says that there was no transparent mechanism to charge fuel surcharge and “the increases are ad hoc and arbitrary.” The report also mentioned that strict action has been taken against air cargo transport cartel in several other countries.

“We need to find out if the pricing has been determined in a fair manner as cartels can be detrimental to the growth of the economy and here we find that most of the airlines have resorted to similar hikes in prices and done around the same time,” Pradeep S Mehta, secretary general, CUTS said.

According to the report, the ministry of civil aviation and the director general of civil aviation have in the past issued warnings to many Indian carriers asking them to desist from increasing fares in tandem.

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