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Sky-High Airfares Turn Kashmir into a Luxury Destination

By Fnf correspondent | PUBLISHED: 15, Jun 2024, 20:06 pm IST | UPDATED: 15, Jun 2024, 20:06 pm IST

Sky-High Airfares Turn Kashmir into a Luxury Destination With sky-high airfare, Kashmir has become a luxury destination, with airfares surpassing even those of some international flights. You may be planning to fly to Kashmir for a soothing shikara ride in the cool breezes, or to experience the mesmerizing pastures and escape the fiery

Kashmir sees almost 100 flights daily, but the rise in fares continues. The average airfare from Delhi to Srinagar is typically Rs 4,000-5,000, but it has now soared to Rs 8,000-15,000. Fares to other cities across India have also seen a sharp spike.
Tourism operators have expressed outrage over the rising airfares, saying the government must take strict action against those responsible for this arbitrary pricing. They say air tickets to Kashmir are now costlier than flights to South Asian countries. Tourism promotion is done year-round, but when the season arrives, private airlines hike the airfares, making Kashmir an expensive destination, according to these operators.

Manzoor Pakhtoon, a tour and travel agent, said, "It's true that during the peak season, airfares go high and many tourists change their plans because of this high airfare. When they get cheaper tickets for nearby South Asian countries, it definitely affects our trade."
Kashmir is a world-famous tourist destination but it has limited connectivity. It is connected to the rest of the world only by road and air, with no train connectivity. The road is very exhausting, hilly, and many portions are not in good condition for travel, so the tourist influx is mostly dependent on air travel. This sky-high airfare is raising concerns among tourists as well.

Alok and his wife, who had come from Indore, said, "I want to say, one month before I booked, the fare was 6,000. But after two days, I checked the ticket for others and it was 16,000. There are huge fluctuations. They should fix a limited range." His wife added, "One who wants to come gets demotivated because all of a sudden, the ticket fare was 16,000. So he cannot manage. Each and everything should be within a limit because fare is everything."

Another tourist from Lucknow, Ankit Tripathi, said, "If we have to connect Jammu and Kashmir to the country and boost tourism, we have to improve connectivity. Srinagar doesn't have a railway. We can only come by road or air. Airfare has gone high as the influx has increased. The fare should be closer to rail fare so that more people will come."

A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture recently tabled a report on the action taken by the government on its recommendations regarding the issue of fixing airfares.

In the report, the panel mentioned various instances of abnormal increases in airfares, especially during festivals or holidays. It is of the opinion that self-regulation by airlines has not been effective. The panel recommended that a mechanism be developed whereby the DGCA is empowered to regulate air tariffs. Currently, airfares are neither established nor regulated by the government. The committee strongly recommends that the Ministry formulate a mechanism to ensure compliance with Rule 13(1) of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, thereby ensuring control over the surge in airfares.

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