Saturday, October 24, 2020

Limited entry of Indians to Bahrain causing airfare to soar

As per India’s ‘air bubble’ arrangements with Bahrain, Air India/ Air India Express and Gulf Air are permitted to transport people between the two countries, with certain restrictions. However, airfare to Bahrain is considerably steeper than that of flights to other Gulf nations. The average fare of the special flights from Kerala to Bahrain is between Rs 30,000 to Rs 39,000. Addressing this, on Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the reason for this price hike is that Bahrain only allows 750 passengers from India per week.

"Average fares on Kerala-Dubai flights are between Rs 6,500 and Rs 12,800 while Kerala-Doha flights cost between Rs 7,150 and Rs 15,50," the minister tweeted. 

Earlier during the day, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan met Puri and told him about "the surge in the pricing of flight tickets" from GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries to India. Muraleedharan tweeted that he "sought his (Puri's) urgent attention to alleviate the financial and mental hardships faced by Keralite expatriates working in those countries".

Puri responded to Muraleedharan's tweets, saying, "Bahrain has placed a restriction of 750 passengers per week from India and fare band on Kerala-Bahrain sector is Rs 30,000 to 39,000 for Indian carriers." He added, "Average fare band for Indian carriers on Kerala-Dubai sector is Rs 6,500 to 12,800 & on Kerala-Doha sector it is Rs 7,150 to 15,500." Kerala is connected to UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar via the air bubble arrangement, Puri said.

23/10/20 News Minute

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