'The airline operators hiked the rate to five and six times for the services from Gulf during Eid-ul-Fitr'.

Kerala govt wants Centre to cap airfares to the Gulf during festivals like RamzanSreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Airfares Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 10:29

The Kerala government has asked the Union Government to put a cap on airfares to the Gulf sector to prevent unjustified hikes by airlines.

“The union government should interfere to prevent the unfair hike of fares by airlines operating services to Kerala and from here to the Gulf region during festival seasons,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged in a letter to Civil Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Saturday.

The letter said that, “The airline operators hiked the rate to five and six times for the services from Gulf during Eid-ul-Fitr. This has put the workers who had to travel to Kerala during Eid in distress. The approach of the airline companies is that of exploiting the passengers during festival seasons and school holidays.”

“The Centre, considering the gravity of the issue, should regulate airfare to the Gulf countries. Also, Air India should operate more flights to the region. The government should also prompt private airlines to operate more flights to the region. Foreign airline companies should be given permission to operate short-term flights to deal with the rush of passengers during festival season,” the letter said.

“The issue of unjustified hike in airfare to Gulf countries had put to the notice of the Civil Aviation ministry in April itself. The hike is a big setback for the Keralites who have been struggling due to the uncertainty in the job sector. It was also raised at a meeting of airline heads held in Thiruvananathapuram on May 15 in which Civil Aviation Secretary also took part. Permission to foreign airline companies are given permission to operate flights based on bilateral agreements. Aviation Secretary in that meeting had agreed to consider to arrange more seats for 15 days during festival season. But instead of reducing the fare the airline companies have hiked the rate five or six times,” the letter pointed out. 

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