Press Trust of india

Aviation ministry asks airlines to keep fares from Srinagar in check

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New Delhi, Aug 03: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Saturday advised airlines to keep fares from Srinagar in check as Amarnath pilgrims and tourists prepared to leave the Kashmir Valley, a day after the J&K administration asked them to curtail their stay due to security threats.

According to Airports Authority of India (AAI), 6,126 passengers reported at the Srinagar International Airport on Saturday to travel out of the Valley.

Out of this, 5,829 passengers travelled by 32 scheduled flights. Remaining 387 passengers were accommodated in four IAF aircrafts and flown to various destinations like Jammu, Pathankot and Hindon.

"The Ministry of Civil Aviation has advised the airlines to rein in the surging ticket prices, on flights coming out of Srinagar, for yatris returning from the Amarnath dham," a source said.

Travel websites on Saturday showed the ticket prices on Srinagar-Delhi route between Rs 11,000 and Rs 20,000 for August 04.

The ticket prices for Srinagar-Mumbai flights for August 04 started from Rs 14,000 onward.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Twitter, "Hon'ble Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Hardeep Singh Puri has asked all the airlines to rein in the surging air fares for pilgrims returning from Amarnath dham."

The AAI said all passengers were flown out of the Valley in a planned and systematic manner. The entire operation was conducted smoothly by AAI officials in close coordination with IAF, J&K Police, CRPF, BSF, the airlines and state authorities, it said.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation had advised airlines on Friday to be ready to operate additional flights from the Srinagar airport if the need arises.

On Friday, the Indian Army, citing intelligence inputs, had said Pakistan-based militants were planning to target the Amarnath Yatra.

The Army's disclosure prompted the Jammu and Kashmir administration to ask the Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to curtail their stay in the Valley and leave immediately.

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