The committee said on Saturday (Feb 25) it will try to intervene in response to tourist complaints about rising fares, despite finding evidence the fares are now below the standard benchmarks, reports Bangkok Post.
According to Phuket Vice Governor, Amnuay Pinsuwan, who acted as the joint committee’s chairman, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s (CAAT) airfare control measures divide the flight routes into two types due to the benchmark fares. Phuket is classified as having a rate limitation for full-service charging and low-cost carrier charging.
According to the CAAT’s notice, full-service flight operators can passengers no more than B13 per kilometre for seats with a baggage allowance of 20 kilogrammes or less, and that sum must also include onboard foods and drinks.
Meanwhile, carriers that do not provide these services are considered lowcost, and the authority requires them to charge no more than B9.40 per kilometre.
This means that for flights to Phuket, the airline should charge passengers no more than B9,074 per flight for a full-service flight [presumably from Bangkok] or no more than B6,561 per flight for a low-cost carrier, said Mr Amnuay.
He said overpriced airfares during the New Year’s Festival and Valentine’s Day, while offputting to travellers, actually arose from high demand that is often encountered during the tourist high season.
This means that the cost of flying to the island will rise again during the long holiday for Maka Bucha Day and Songkran when the ticket prices are expected to reach B4,000 to B5,000 per seat, he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Amnuay estimated the average ticket price for this time of year will cost tourists at least B2,800–3,000 based on the price of a flight departing on March 11 and 12.
However, to prevent illicit ticket pricing, CAAT required every carrier to publish the fare rates report every month and every trimester and sent them a notice on airfare pricing.
Mr Amnuay added that those in authority deemed responsible for price gouging on popular routes would face a penalty of at least six months in jail and be fined up to B20,000, according to the aviation law.
JohnC | 27 February 2023 - 09:04:47