Monday, December 28, 2020

Flying to US and Canada becomes expensive for Chennai passengers

Chenaai: Flying to the US and Canada has become expensive as passengers from Chennai have to transit via Dubai or Abu Dhabi, the only two international hubs that are operating flights after flights were suspended to Europe and to the UK.

As options are fewer, fares are up by almost 50%. Travellers are forced to shell out close to Rs 1 lakh for oneway tickets from Chennai because choice of flights is fewer. The ticket cost is usually around Rs50,000 to 65,000.

Passengers from Chennai have to depend on flights via Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha for economical tickets with a good baggage allowance. However, these routes from Chennai to the Middle East are full because of travellers heading to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the New Year weekend.

Basheer Ahmed, of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), said: “The only option is to fly via Delhi by direct flights operated by Air India. But the number of seats is fewer on these flights. This is causing inconvenience to the passengers who are headed to the US before New Year.”

He also said that airlines like Emirates have reduced the frequency after the ban of flights to Europe and the UK. “The airlines have cancelled a few flights from December 29 onwards. This is also a reason for reduction in the number of seats from Chennai to the Middle East and onwards towards the US or Canada.”

Though demand for travel is high, the airlines are not able to accommodate all passengers on the flights. “The airlines are using big planes but they carry only around 60 passengers per flight. This is a drawback. This also leads to a hike in air fare,” he added.

The Air India flights from Delhi may not be able to handle the demand from other cities of the country. Nevertheless, passengers can fly down by Hong Kong also.

28/12/20 Times of India

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