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AirAsia drops baggage fee

Facing flak

New Delhi, June 5: AirAsia India, which will start flights from June 12, has stopped collecting a fee for up to 15kg of check-in baggage, following a reproach from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The low-fare carrier had unbundled the services and was charging Rs 199 for up to 15kg of luggage. Though AirAsia India did not comment on the development, travel portals said the airline had stopped collecting the fee.

“AirAsia is now not charging any fee for luggage up to 15kg. I think the move was made after the DGCA instructions came in. The airline is yet to intimate us on any information regarding refunds to those who had booked earlier,” Sharat Dhall, president of Yatra.com, said.

AirAsia India had announced that its maiden flight on the Bangalore-Goa route would cost just Rs 990, including taxes.

The airline said its tickets for the inaugural Bangalore-Goa flight were sold out in 10 minutes.

Sources said today’s decision came after the DGCA took objection to the airline collecting fees and charges without taking its approval. The regulator had asked the airline to stop collecting the charges till its clearance.

“AirAsia India has been asked to stop charging for all these services. Before any such announcements, especially unbundling services, an airline has to inform us in advance. The airline has been told to stop it immediately,” a senior DGCA official said.

AirAsia Berhad, the parent company, charges around Rs 940 per 20kg and an additional Rs 900 for every kilogram of excess baggage on an average. The airline, however, allows up to 7kg of cabin baggage free of charge.

Analysts had welcomed the airline’s move to unbundle the services and said it would set a precedent for others.

During this fiscal, the airline will connect 10 cities across the country with a 10- aircraft fleet.

AirAsia India chief executive officer Mittu Chandilya has made it clear that for now the airline will not fly to Mumbai as it has some infrastructure issues with the airport.

 
 
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