Sunday, August 20, 2017

As Assam remains cut off, private airlines mint money

Guwahati: At a time when floods and erosion continue to wreak havoc in Assam, private airlines are minting money by jacking up fares — taking advantage of the State’s road and rail links with the rest of the country being cut off by the natural disaster.
All private airlines have increased fares between Guwahati and other major cities to such an extent that it is nearly impossible for the people of the State to bear the cost of flying even in emergency situations. The governments both in New Delhi and Dispur, often shedding crocodile tears for flood victims in the State, are however mute spectators to the development. The standard excuse being trotted out is that the government does not interfere in the fare mechanism of private flight operators.
Each ticket for a journey between Guwahati and Kolkata till Sunday (August 20) was being sold in between Rs 9,000 to Rs 15,000, as against the normal day’s fares of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000. Under various rebate schemes, people used to purchase flight tickets to these destinations even in the range of Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,200. When contacted, most travel agents in the city told this correspondent that tickets under the rebate schemes have been exhausted, forcing the people to fork up Rs 9,000 to Rs 15,000 for a single flight from Guwahati to Kolkata.
Similarly, air tickets between Guwahati and New Delhi (till Sunday) were being sold in between Rs 15,000 to Rs 24,000, as against the normal rates of Rs 6,000 to Rs 6,500. Under the rebate schemes, tickets on this route used to be sold in between Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,500.
19/08/17 Sentinel