Keralites fly from other states to skip high fares

Keralites fly from other states to skip high fares

Trivandrum - Travel agents say the passengers were increasingly opting for Bengaluru and Mumbai airport as they can save Rs25,000 to Rs35,000 per ticket.



By T K Devasia

Published: Sun 30 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Aug 2015, 10:09 AM

Keralites going for jobs or visits to various countries in the Middle East, Europe and the USA are now avoiding the three airports in Kerala and instead flying from Bengaluru, Mumbai and other neighbouring airports.
The passengers are taking round about routes as the airfare from Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut airports have skyrocketed until the second week of September as a result of the end of summer vacation in Gulf countries, Europe and the USA.
Travel agents say the passengers were increasingly opting for Bengaluru and Mumbai airport as they can save Rs25,000 to Rs35,000 per ticket by flying from these airports.
The passengers can save more by going to the nearby airports by train or bus. Many from the central and northern parts of Kerala do this.
While an economy class one-way fare from Cochin to Dubai on September 1 ranges Rs56,000 to 70,000 as of now, the fare from Mumbai ranges from Rs24,440 to Rs40,193.
The lowest from Bengaluru to Dubai on that day is Rs17, 825.
The fare from other neighbouring airports is also similarly low compared to the three airports in Kerala. The lowest fare from Hyderabad to Dubai on September 1 stood at Rs18,304 on Saturday. The peak season increase in fares from Kerala to Gulf during the school vacation in the Middle East coinciding with the Onam festival in the state is normal.
However, travel agents say the fares this time had gone up by more than four times.
The travel agents say there is an unprecedented rush to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha and Kuwait this time. The tickets in most flights to these destinations from the three airports in Kerala have been sold out. Whatever remaining is priced high. While the normal one way fare in the Kerala-Gulf sector is in the range of Rs8,000 to Rs10,000, the minimum fare till September 20 is up by four to five times.
Those who have come with one-way ticket are finding the going tough. Many come with one-way ticket anticipating lower fare later.
They are now in a fix as the fares have gone beyond their imagination. Many of them are also exploring the possibility of deferring their travel until the end of the peak season. However, it is not easy as they have to report for duty before the expiry of the leave.
Airline sources maintain that the fares are influenced by demand and supply. Senior executive of an airline here said that tickets sell out fast during peak seasons and that airlines reserve a limited number of seats to cash in during such periods.
He said most airlines follow this practice as they are forced sell tickets at lower price during lean season due to competition.
Expatriate organisations and various political parties have been voicing concern over the alleged fleecing of passengers by the airlines, especially the state-run Air India and Air India Express. Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan demanded the urgent intervention of the state and federal governments to take concrete steps to end the exploitation of poor expats by the airlines.
news@khaleejtimes.com


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