Now carrying check-in baggage over 15 kg on Indigo domestic flights will cost about one-third or 33% more. The low cost carrier steeply hiked the charges for pre-booking 5, 10, 15 & 30 kg (beyond the free 15 kg) on its domestic routes to Rs 1,900; Rs 3,800; Rs 5,700 & Rs 11,400 from Friday June 22. Domestic flyers now need to pay Rs 400 per kg for each kilo beyond the allowed 15 kg.
Last year in August, the LCC had set its pre-booking charges for 5, 10, 15 & 30 kg (beyond the free 15 kg) at Rs 1,425; Rs 2,850; Rs 4,275 & 8,550. The flyer who not pre-book excess baggage will pay Rs 300 per kg for each kilo beyond the allowed 15 kg.
Due to a DGCA order, airlines could charge only Rs 500 for the first 5 kg beyond the 15 kg limit for domestic flyers till last August. Beyond 20 kg, they could charge any amount. Airlines changed that DGCA order in courts & were allowed to set excess baggage charges beyond 15 kg itself.
Indigo hiked the prices the second time. The airline had reintroduced fuel surcharge for domestic flights from May 30, due to rising aircraft fuel cost & depreciating Indian rupee. As this surcharge, it had decided to levy Rs 200 on routes less than 1000 km, and Rs 400 on routes longer than 1000 km distance.
From January 2017 till last month jet fuel prices have risen 40%, putting a severe strain on airline finances along with factors like a weakening rupee.
Vinay Dube, CEO of Jet Airways, while declaring a loss of Rs 1,040 crore in the January-March 2018 quarters last month, had said,”financial performance during the quarter was weaker due to the continuing increase in the price of Brent fuel without a corresponding increase in airfares, as well as mark-to-market adjustments due to a weaker rupee.”
Indian airlines have started hiking fares to avoid a Kingfisher-like fate. An Airline official said,”Jet fuel for domestic flights is among the expensive in India. What option do we have but hike fares or shut down.”