Snow Fallout: Airfares Skyrocket In Kashmir

Snow Fallout: Airfares Skyrocket In Kashmir

16 March 2014
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: Air carriers operating on the Jammu and Kashmir sector have increased the airfares taking “undue” advantage of Srinagar- Jammu highway blockade following heavy snowfall in Kashmir. Passenger travelling from summer capital to other destinations in the country, and those coming home, complained that air carriers have skyrocketed airfares making travelling on this sector highly costly. They complained that whenever, the highway gets blocked, air carriers unilaterally hike the fares taking undue advantage of the situation. Travel agents here told Greater Kashmir that after the snowfall, the price of air tickets has increased manifold. “Air tickets are being sold at a whopping price tag of Rs 7000 to Rs 15800 on Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector,” they said. “The sharp increase in airfares hits our business, besides giving a lot of trouble to the people,” they said. Mushtaq Ahmad of Travel Master, a local travel agency in Srinagar, said, most of the passengers who travel around this time to and fro the Valley are either students or patients. He said the people find the rates prohibitive. “My surgery is scheduled to be held on March 20 in a hospital in New Delhi. In view of the weather conditions here, I opted for air travel. However, I had to pay Rs 12,000 for the ticket,” said a city denizen adding that besides for himself, he had to pay for air ticket of his son accompanying him. A passenger, Manzoor Ahmad waiting for the flight at Srinagar International Airport said: “The fares are shocking. There are not even flights available right now. They are hitting hard on us.” President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said air carriers always take undue advantage of the situation here and fleece the common people. “During the summer the airfares are increased because of the tourism season. During winter they are hiked because of the road closure. In short every time they take the passengers in Kashmir for a ride.” He said the KCCI will write to the CEOs of all the air carriers and take up the matter with civil aviation minister.