Various metasearch engine websites such as Google and Skyscanner operate in India.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Twitter that metasearch engines at times do make combinations of multiple airlines — when a passenger is looking for a point to point travel — and end up with an exaggerated figure of airfare.
Last Saturday, Sanjeev Gupta, secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Union home ministry, had complained on Twitter that an economy-class ticket on British Airways’s Delhi-London flight for August 26 was priced at Rs 3.95 lakh.
However, the ministry of civil aviation clarified on Sunday that an economy-class ticket on Delhi-London flight has been available for between Rs 1.03 lakh and Rs 1.47 lakh during August.
While there have been lower and upper limits on all domestic airfares in India since May 25 last year, no such limits have been imposed on international airfares.
The DGCA said on Twitter on Tuesday: “Passengers travelling to international destinations are requested to check the fare preferably from the website of the concerned airline as the metasearch engines at times do not reflect the actual point to point fare and do make combinations of multiple airlines and end up with an exaggerated figure.”
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, limited special international passenger flights have been operating since July 2020 under the air bubble arrangements formed with 28 countries, including the UK.