The state government Tuesday asked airlines to devise ways so that airfares do not skyrocket during the peak-demand season or as and when Kashmir’s road links to other parts of the world are blocked.
At Rs 13,000 to Rs 17,000, a one-hour journey between Delhi and Srinagar was costlier than the six-hour Hyderabad-Jeddah international flight on Sunday.
Such exorbitant fares have outraged Kashmir residents and tourism players who see it detrimental to their business.
Even governor Satya Pal Malik apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the issue during his visit on Sunday.
On Monday, governor’s advisor Khurshid Ganai held discussions in this regard with tour operators and managers of various airlines.
“You are requested to implement instructions issued by the advisor in letter and spirit with immediate effect in the interest of the general public and tourists in particular,” reads a letter from the directorate of tourism, Kashmir, to various airlines.
According to tour operators, a sudden hike in airfare during peak tourist season or in times of emergencies occurs because travel agents sell the tickets at high prices after having bought them in bulk. The government has, therefore, asked airlines to sell a maximum of two to three tickets under one PNR and that too after bona-fide passengers furnish names and other details.
‘WE ARE NOT PROFITEERS’
Ticketing Agents Forum on Tuesday denied they were selling air tickets at high prices.
Addressing a press conference, president of the Forum Suhail Ahmad Dar said such allegations by tour operators were “malicious and motivated”.
“Ticket sales are a matter of demand and supply and we cater to customers but are helpless before volatility of the market as we deal with dynamic fares,” said Dar.
Dar also urged airlines to operate more flights so that fares do not fluctuate wildly.