Kashmir airfares have again sky rocketed after the domestic airline, Go First, announced cancellation of its flights across the country till May 12 due to “operational reasons”.
The airline also announced that it is filing for voluntary insolvency proceedings with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Like other parts of the country, the air travel has been affected here also. Thousands of travellers who had booked tickets in advance are suffering now due to cancellation of the flights.
The grim scenario has emerged at a time when the tourism sector had gained momentum and authorities were expecting a record two crore visitors this year.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( KCCI) in a statement has said that this act by the airline has caused distress to the passengers in general and tourists in particular who are on a visit to Kashmir, or are scheduled to travel Jammu and Kashmir in the coming days by the airlines.
The authorities must immediately do something about it and encourage other airlines to increase the number of flights to Jammu and Kashmir. The more the flights, more will be the rush of visitors and cheaper can be the airfare.
Not only the tourists but other travellers too have been hit by the cancellation of the flights and the hike in airfare. They include students, patients and business travellers. Skyrocketing of Kashmir airfares has been a problem in past also.
Some month back the Parliamentary Standing Committee had lashed out at the domestic airlines for deliberately making the passengers to pay on higher side.
The committee had taken note of the high air fares charged by some airline operators in the domestic sector, and held that they are misleading the public and forcing passengers to pay more.
The committee had recommended that the concerned ministry should formulate appropriate guidelines regarding rationalisation of fares and publishing the correct information on the website of the airlines.
The committee had observed that in northeastern region and hilly areas including Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the prices of domestic sector tickets are, sometimes, even more than the international airline sector prices.
The scenario remained unchanged and the air travellers have to pay through their nose. This trend has to be put to an end and directives implemented in letter and spirit.