Ceiling price for flight tickets at 299 Turkish liras

Ceiling price for flight tickets at 299 Turkish liras

Ceiling price for flight tickets at 299 Turkish liras

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The ceiling price for domestic flight tickets, based on a compromise between companies and the Transport Ministry, is set to launch at 299 Turkish Liras ($147), including all charges.

“The most expensive [domestic] flight ticket will cost 299 liras tomorrow forward ... I said ‘the most expensive,’ there might be prices below this. I don’t object to it. That will be the companies’ own decision,” Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım said during a press conference on Dec. 2.

Before the press conference, Yıldırım held a meeting with General Directorate of Civil Aviation (SHGM) General Manager Bilal Ekşi and executives of airline companies, including Turkish Airlines, Atlasjet, Borajet, Pegasus, Onur Air and Sun Express.

Yıldırım said the SGHM had been having talks with the sector representatives about flight ticket prices and the citizens had been complaining about high ticket prices. He said they had met on a common ground.

The minister announced that ceiling price for economy class-flight tickets in domestic lines would be 299 liras, starting today, based on companies’ compromise.

Yıldırım also stressed that the SGHM would not introduce any new regulation regarding flight prices as this would not be appropriately liberal. The SGHM is authorized to regulate ticket prices when the conditions require it, but the ministry has never applied this, Yıldırım said, adding that the Transport Ministry had begun the liberalization of aviation and a different application would be contrary to the government’s policy.

However, there will not be any regulation for a minimum price for tickets, he said, noting that the airline companies would always be able to make promotions, such as low ticket prices to draw more passengers.

“An intervention isn’t in question [for minimum prices]. The limit is put only on ceiling prices. The companies will apply this ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between them,” he said.

Yıldırım also noted that there was no deadline for the agreement, adding that it would last as long as conditions were normal. He said the average payment for flights is 150 liras in Turkey.

Pegasus, Turkey’s low-cost carrier, has stated that imposing a ceiling price would hinder airline transport and would be contrary to competition and liberal market rules. Pegasus Chairman Ali Sabancı said in October that creating competition is more effective at protecting customers from high prices than imposing ceiling prices for flight tickets on domestic lines.