Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Exorbitant ticket fares make special flights unaffordable for stranded students

Kochi: So what if the Union government  launched the special flight services under Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indians stranded across the globe during the national COVID-19 lockdown, a large section of the expatriates are unable to use the service due to exorbitant ticket fare. Students and those who lost their jobs are badly affected. In some cases, the ticket prices are more than Rs.2 lakhs which makes it impossible for them to return in special flights.

Tickets from Gulf region and few other neighbouring countries, from where Air India Express is operating therir services, are not very expensive. But, from European countries, US and Canada, the tickets are very high and sometimes even double the rate of the normal fare.
“Normally the ticket rates are in the range of 900AUD, but for the Vande Bharat flights, it's 1300 to 1700 AUD. Most of the first and second-semester students want to travel back home as only online classes are being conducted right now. But, many of them are finding it difficult to raise funds for their airfare. Though students are attending the online classes, Universities are not reducing the fees, which is another concern for us,” said Aravind, an MS student in Queensland University, Australia.

Sunil Kumar Bhardwaj from Punjab, a marine student in UK said that though he wants to go back home, he can’t afford the high ticket charges and the additional money to be paid for institutional quarantine back home. “I have requested my family to raise funds by some means and send it soon. Till then, I have to wait,” he said.

Due to the unaffordable flight charges, many students are waiting for the government’s decision on resumption of international flight operations.
Akhil Dharmaraj, a marine engineer from Kerala, who recently returned from the UK under Vande Bharat Mission flight said that he had to pay double the amount of normal fare. “I paid Rs.60, 000 for two-way ticket for normal flight service while I had to pay the same amount for one-way ticket in Vande Bharat flight,” he said.
08/06/20 Smitha N/Deccan Chronicle
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment