China eases control over domestic airfare pricing

Updated: 2010-06-01 14:38
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BEIJING: Chinese airlines can decide the price of first- and business-class fares for domestic flights as of Tuesday, according to a new regulation issued by the Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Previously, first- and business-class fares were fixed at 1.5 times and 1.3 times the full fare of an economy class ticket. Now the ticket prices can fluctuate according to the market, and airlines can offer discount tickets as well.

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Airlines should file their pricing adjustment plans to the CAA and NDRC 30 days before they publicly announce price changes, according to the new regulation.

China Eastern Airlines, one of China's leading air carriers, has already introduced discounted first-class tickets for flights from Beijing to Wuhan departing June 10. A first-class ticket has been reduced from 1,620 yuan ($238) to 1,080 yuan. Passengers must book their tickets at least three days in advance to get the discount.

Also, first-class tickets on Sichuan Airlines' flights departing June 4 from Beijing to Chengdu have been reduced from 2,160 yuan to 1,440 yuan apiece, the same as a full economy class ticket fare.