Steep hike in airfares to Gulf region unjustified, Kerala CM writes to Minister

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday wrote to Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu urging him to bring back the fares from Kerala to West Asia to the level it prevailed in February this year.

Most of the non-resident Keralites earn meagre salary and the hike in air fares was unjustified. It would affect them badly, said Vijayan in his letter.

Schools in Kerala have summer vacation during April-May and a lot of non-resident Keralites come to the state and return to the Gulf region and there is an additional demand for flight tickets and the airlines were cashing in on this demand despite the director general of civil aviation advising them not to raise fares, wrote the CM in his letter.

However, despite this, the airlines have hiked the one-way fares by 200 to 400 per cent from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode airports to various destinations in the Gulf regions. There was no availability of seats in the economy class, added the Chief Minister.

He further noted that the grounding of a few Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft should not be the reason for raising the air fares for other aircrafts.

NT Bureau