The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Monday has taken notice of the substantial increase in airfares by the private airlines after strike of Pakistan International Airlines.

 The committee has asked the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to submit a detailed report on substantial increase in airfares by the private airlines in the meeting today (Tuesday). The Senate committee under the chair of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla would discuss thoroughly the matter of PIA privatization. Privatization Commission, PIA and Ministry of Finance officials have been summoned in the meeting.

The committee has noted that government has allowed the private airlines to looting the passengers by taking higher fares. “Civil Aviation Authority has become silent spectator,” said Senator Saleem Mandviwalla chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue in a statement.

It is worth mentioning here that Private airlines had raised fares for the stranded passengers after strike of employees of PIA observed strike in last few days. The private airlines have enhanced the fare one-way from Karachi to Lahore upto Rs18000 from Rs8000. Similarly, fares of other routes have also been enhanced.

 The CCP has taken notice of the substantial increase in air fares by the private airlines following the disruption of Pakistan International Airline (PIA)’s flight operations due to a strike by its employees. The Commission is in the process of collecting information and has written to Shaheen Airlines and Airblue to provide comprehensive data on airfares charged recently. These airlines have been intimated that unreasonable price increases by dominant businesses and collective price fixing between competitors are anti-competitive activities that should be avoided at all costs.

CCP is mandated by the Competition Act, 2010 to check anticompetitive practices by businesses. Such practices include excessive increase in prices by businesses having market power and collective fixation of prices or collusion by competing businesses.