Merchants in Maharaj Gunj complain about sky-high airfares
Merchants in Maharaj Gunj complain about sky-high airfares

Srinagar, 4 June: It may seem incredible, but flights from Delhi to Srinagar are much more costly than flights to popular international tourist destinations like as Dubai or Bangkok.

Flights from Delhi to Srinagar cost between Rs 18,000 and Rs 21,000, whereas flights to overseas locations like as Dubai and Bangkok are much less expensive.


A flight from Delhi to Bangkok on July 5 costs Rs 13,574, while a ticket from Delhi to Dubai on the same day costs Rs 16,749 per person, making it cheaper than plane fares to Srinagar.

The fact that airfares have virtually quadrupled has a serious impact on Kashmir’s tourism and aviation businesses.

The current flight from Srinagar to Mumbai varies from Rs 17,000 to Rs 23,000, which was once half the price.

In addition to hindering tourist travel plans, the high expenses have a significant impact on patients and students who must travel from Srinagar to Delhi or vice versa. According to a senior civil aviation official here, airfares from Delhi to Srinagar and Mumbai to Srinagar have risen dramatically owing to a combination of strong demand and constrained supply, mostly as a consequence of Go First’s operations being interrupted.

“Because domestic airfares are much higher than those for some international destinations, there have been rumblings about capping domestic airfares.” Go First was extensively present and played key roles in a variety of businesses, particularly in Jammu & Kashmir. People love to visit Kashmir in the summer, but the bulk of them cannot afford to spend Rs 20,000 only to go,” he said.

Mushtaq Chaya, Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, said that high airfares were driving away visitors and caused issues for the local population.

“The government should take tough measures against those responsible for exorbitantly rising airfares, much to the chagrin of the local population and impeding tourist influx to Kashmir.” To avoid issues for everyone, a system to restrict airfares should be put in place. “Not only tourists fly, but students, patients, and businesspeople make up the vast majority of those departing Srinagar and bearing the brunt of this arbitrary price increase,” Chaya said.

Bashir Ahmad, a Srinagar native, highlighted the agony of having to spend up to Rs 2 lakh for the travel fees of his family members who had to return home after a medical emergency in Delhi.

“From Delhi to Srinagar, I paid Rs 21,000 per passenger.” We were a family of ten, and the whole cost of my airline tickets was Rs 2.10 lakh. “We went to Delhi for my mother’s critical surgery and also had our children with us because we didn’t have anyone here to look after them,” he said.

Due to inclement weather, the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been unstable for the last several days, leaving commuters with no alternative but to pay exorbitant fees to go from Srinagar or the other way.

A House Standing Committee recently expressed concern that the high domestic prices imposed by certain airline operators, as well as the pricing strategies used, were deceiving the public and forcing customers to pay more.

“The level of misinformation can be gauged by the fact that even after the last tickets have been sold, the website still displays the same number of seats as indicated prior to the ticket sale.” This shows that airline operators are deceiving the public and pressuring customers to pay more,” the panel said in the Civil Aviation Ministry’s Demand for Grants (2023-24) report.

It proposed that the government develop adequate criteria for fare rationalisation and disseminate accurate information on the airlines’ websites.

It further said that “predatory pricing” was being reinstated by the domestic airline industry.

“A specific airline may sell air tickets at such a low price that other competitors are unable to compete and are forced to exit the market.” “A company that does this will incur initial losses, but it will eventually benefit by driving competition out of the market and raising its prices again,” according to the research.



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