Monday, July 30, 2018

Airfare to bleed passengers during peak Onam season

Thiruvananthapuram: Get ready to shell out extra from the pocket if you are an air passenger from the Middle East wishing to celebrate Onam with family. The Civil Aviation Ministry, in reply to a question by the MPs from Kerala, has made it clear it would not take any steps or intervention to reduce the air fare during the festival season along with providing additional flights to clear the extra rush.

Further, Kochi- headquartered budget carrier Air India Express, which operates around 264 flights between Kerala and the Gulf in a week and is the largest service provider in the route, said it would not operate any additional flights in the current season. Last year, Air India Express had operated 18 additional flights between Sharjah and Kerala during the festival season of Onam & Eid.

Speaking to Express, a senior Air India Express official said the AIE used to announce additional flights during the peak season based on the booking pattern in advance. But this time, the company is not planning to deploy additional flights during Onam considering the market dynamics of the airline which claims it has already increased its number of services in the summer schedule than winter schedule. The low-cost and other scheduled airlines used to effect a steep hike in airfares from various destinations in West Asia to the international airports in the state every year to cash in on the high demand from Non-Resident Keralites during Bakrid and Onam seasons.
30/07/18 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express