Saturday, November 14, 2020

Flying from Chennai to Port Blair will cost you a bomb

Chennai: Air fares on the Chennai-Port Blair route have shot up unusually ahead of Diwali, causing inconvenience to those travelling for an emergency.

A one-way ticket on the route is selling for at least Rs 9,000 even if booked one week in advance. There is mostly only one flight a day on the route but demand remains high.

While it is not unusual for last minute fares to be high, especially during festivals, a one-way fare to Port Blair is selling at Rs 9,668 for travel on next Friday.

People who have to travel on emergencies said they are being forced to shell out Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 on flights via another city.

An airline official said that flight is the only option and the cost incurred by airlines is high because weather is turbulent for most of the time. “The route is prone for diversions because of bad weather and a unidirectional runway,” he said.

P S Vijayan, organising secretary of Andaman Association of Tour Operators, said, “The tickets are expensive because of fewer flights. We used to have 15 to 16 flights per day before the pandemic. There are only three to four flights per day from the mainland.”

He rued that the exorbitant airfares would definitely affect tourist arrivals to Port Blair. “Flights are cheaper to Maldives,” he said.

14/11/20 V Ayyappan/Times of India

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