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The skyrocketing of flight rates!

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By: Nazim Humayoon

Imagine that you have to shell out Rs. 10767 for Srinagar-Jammu flight on a day when you will be charged around Rs. 4800 for Delhi-Bangalore flight. Now, the same day you get a ticket for Delhi-Dubai on the same date at Rs 10800 only- isn’t it astounding? What kind of pricing is this, one may respectfully ask.

Imagine the level of prices; we are being made to pay at a hike which is more than 2000%  and it can never be justified, or can it? Every year, especially with the onset of winters here, this skyrocketing of fares becomes a routine and we, being helpless, are forced to buy the tickets on such exorbitant rates. We all know the condition of our ‘’strategic’’ national highway.

Is Srinagar ‘’International’’ airport the only airport in the world which is located in snowy terrain? Is Kashmir the only place on earth that faces a snowy winter season? With around 20 airlines, both private and government competing in the market, I think Kashmir is the softest target for all to exploit the travelers. With practically no regulations or regulators for pricing of tickets and even no intervention from the government too, it seems that the airlines have taken customers absolutely for granted. In case of an extreme contingency, one is forced to pay 2000% more for a flight. Imagine the state of affairs.

We have been hearing of ‘night landings’ here at our airport for a long time now but the claims are just only and precisely ‘claims’- nothing more nothing less! The lame and dumb reasons for the same are being given time and again. It might have helped the in bringing down the flight rates, but there is no sign of practically implementing any such design by the concerned authorities.

UDAN (Ude desh ka aam nagrik), an airport development and regional connectivity scheme of the central government with the aim and objective of enabling every citizen to fly by making air travel affordable was started on 27th April 2017. Forget about affordable travel, valleyites are afraid of even thinking about the same, particularly when there is an extreme need for the same i.e. the winter season, during which the highway connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of India is horrible. When you are being charged 2000% more and the reason you are getting for such hike is not even explained, you ought to avoid such travel.

Students, businessmen and tourists being the worst among the sufferers, the state government, travel agent associations and other stakeholders cannot afford to stay as mute spectators- unable to do anything for the woes of the masses. It would make them a party of the problem and not a part of the solution.

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