Skyrocketing airfares to J&K: KCCI seeks Civil Aviation Ministry, DGCA’s intervention

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Srinagar, Apr 15: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has requested intervention from the DGCA and Union Civil Aviation Ministry to stop airlines from unilaterally raising airfares on the Jammu and Kashmir route.

KCCI president Javid Tenga in a statement said "The feedback received about the tourist inflow to Kashmir valley by air route indicates that the rush of air travellers to the valley is increasing as besides the tourists a large number of non-resident Kashmiris, students and patients taking treatment outside the state are returning for the celebration of Eid festival at their homes and it is at the same learning that some Airlines in collusion with bulk ticket booking operators are hiking the airfares at their sweet will which is not only affecting the tourist business in Jammu & Kashmir adversely but it also overburdens the non-resident Kashmiris, students and patients travelling back to home in an emergency to celebrate Eid festival."

"KCCI has earlier expressed its grave concern about such ill-advised unwarranted fare hiking practice by the concerned airlines bulk ticket booking operators as it was also observed by the Department-related Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, Government of India. It appears that the Airlines operators on Delhi/Jammu/Srinagar air route have not taken the clear recommendation of the said Department- related Parliamentary Committee on the subject seriously but are instead hiking the fares irrationally which is tantamount to undue profiteering by the Airlines causing hurdle to the tourist movement."

"While the observations of the said Department-related Parliamentary Committee have reproduced herein below again The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry would earnestly request the Minister for Civil Aviation and Director General Civil Aviation Government of India to have the recommendation of said Department-related Parliamentary Committee implemented in letter and spirit without fail," reads the statement.

"The Committee recommends that there should be a mechanism with the Ministry such as capping of upper and lower prices to stop the practice of 'predatory pricing' or the sudden surge in prices even though price buckets are being created as per international aviation norms, a close watch has to be maintained by the DGCA & the Ministry and a mechanism should be devised to monitor the websites of various airlines to prevent them from misguiding passengers," the panel said that in case private airlines do not publish the correct information regarding fares, they should be penalised for it.

"The Committee observes that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has a responsibility to the travelling public and the nation at large to ensure that predatory pricing mechanisms are not adopted by the airlines under the cloak of the free market economy. The committee recommends the ministry should formulate a pricing mechanism for airfares to ensure that passengers are not charged exorbitant prices,”.

"At the same time, the Chamber would like to impress upon the Airlines operating Delhi/Jammu/Srinagar route to operate additional flights to meet the growing travel to Srinagar."

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