KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry Saturday alleged that some Airlines in collusion with bulk ticket booking operators are hiking the airfares at their sweet will in wake of the huge influx of tourists and Non-Resident Kashmiris (NRK).
The Chamber said that the feedback received about the tourist inflow to Kashmir Valley by air route indicates that the rush of air travelers to the valley is increasing as besides the tourists, a large number of NRKs, students, and patients taking treatment outside the state are returning for the celebration of Eid festival at their homes and it is learnt that some Airlines in collusion with bulk ticket booking operators are hiking the airfares at their sweet will which is not only affecting the tourist business in Jammu & Kashmir adversely but it also overburdens the Non Resident Kashmiris, local students and patients.
Faiz Ahmad Bakshi, Secretary General, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that it has already expressed its grave concern about such ill-advised unwarranted fare hiking practice by the concerned airlines’ bulk ticket booking operators as it was also observed by the Department-related Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, Government of India.
“It appears that the Airlines operators on Delhi/Jammu/Srinagar air route have not taken the clear recommendations of the said Department- related Parliamentary Committee on the subject seriously and are instead hiking the fares irrationally which is tantamount to undue profiteering by the Airlines causing a hurdle to the tourist movement,” the Chamber said.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that it would earnestly request the Minister for Civil Aviation and Director General Civil Aviation Government of India to have the recommendations of said Department-related Parliamentary Committee implemented in letter and spirit without fail.
“The Committee recommends that there should be a mechanism with the Ministry such as capping of upper and lower prices to stop the practice of ‘predatory pricing’ or the sudden surge in prices even though price buckets are being created as per international aviation norms, a close watch has to be maintained by the DGCA & the Ministry and a mechanism should be devised to monitor the websites of various airlines to prevent them from misguiding passengers,” the panel said that in case private airlines do not publish the correct information regarding fares, they should be penalised for it. “The Committee observes that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has a responsibility to the traveling public and the nation at large to ensure that predatory pricing mechanisms are not adopted by the airlines under the cloak of the free market economy. The committee recommends the ministry should formulate a pricing mechanism for airfares to ensure that passengers are not charged exorbitant prices,”.
The Chamber said that it also likes to impress upon the Airlines operating Delhi/Jammu/Srinagar route to operate additional flights to meet the growing travel to Srinagar. [KNT]