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Airfare hike: Govt considers increasing flights as only solution

By Firdous Hassan

Srinagar, Jun 02: The government sees increasing the number of flight to Kashmir as the only solution to frequent hike in airfare.
The airfare from various destinations to Kashmir has been hiked by airliners, unnerving the tourism players at the onset of summer.
Director Tourism Department, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, said the state government has been regularly seeking a check on the airfare to the valley.
“We have taken up this issue with the Ministry for Civilian Aviation earlier as well. I think they need to add flights to the Srinagar Airport. That can be the only permanent solution,” he said.
Shah said that only 28 flights operate from the airport.
The worst sufferers, he said, were the “last-minute travellers, including tourists”.
“Students, patients and even tourists fall in this category. The night flights will soon take off from the airport. Let us hope it helps in bringing down the prices of tickets,” he said.
Currently, the airfare on Srinagar-New Delhi route has gone up to Rs10,000-13,000 compared to the normal Rs 5,000- 7,000.
Similarly, the airfare from other destination like Mumbai and Chennai, from where the rush of tourists remains much higher in summers, has also gone sky high.
The airfare from Chennai to Srinagar ranges from Rs13,000 to 27,000.
For Mumbai, an air-ticket costs Rs 12,000 to 20,000.
The state government’s plea to keep runaway airfare hikes during peak tourist seasons in check has been rebuffed by the central government recently, which has said that tariffs were subject to the logic of supply and demand.
Earlier, in 2014, the State Human Rights Commission took a note of the repeated airfare hikes and termed it a violation of people’s human rights and right to equality.