Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Govt nod to air travel of central forces personnel a boon for airlines

The travel portals and airlines have been witnessing a considerable increase in bookings and travel queries on Srinagar sector by the forces personnel. 
The rise in bookings and queries has come after government of India recently approved air travel for low-ranking officials of the central reserve police force, national security guards and other forces from Delhi to Srinagar, Srinagar to Jammu and vice-versa “to lessen the threat of attacks on the forces’ convoys and reduce vehicular pressure on highway”.
A travel portal based in Maharashtra, the only dedicated portal for armed forces in the country, expects the travel bookings by the armed forces to further increase as “the situation in Valley becomes stable”, said a senior official of the company, wishing not to be named.
He said the union ministry of home affairs (MHA) travel scheme for the forces personnel is being seen as a boost for the air business.
“On a daily basis we book almost 500 tickets for armed forces to and from Srinagar and Leh airports,” said the official.
He said the company which has a presence at the Srinagar Airport, has also received more queries.
“Although we provide flight bookings for all sectors, Srinagar sector is the busiest. There are many travelling to the Valley back from leave via air,” he said.
However, he said the MHA travel scheme for the armed forces, offers several “travel benefits” which are applicable only for public-sector owned Air India. “It needs to be extended to low-cost private carriers as well.”
“There are only a couple of flights of Air India to Srinagar which logistically does not make it possible to meet a huge demand of travel of armed forces. We hope it is extended to other private carriers as well,” said the official.
An official of a private airline company said they have also recently seen a rise in demand of air ticket bookings from armed forces. “We will have the consolidated travel data ready next month but the government nod to travel of central forces will encourage air travel of armed forces,” said the airline representative.
06/03/19 Greater Kashmir

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