Airfares to India from the UAE and Saudi Arabia have skyrocketed making it difficult for expatriates looking to return home during the the Eid holidays. Speaking about the plight of non-resident Indians, the Kerala Pravasi Association (KPA) demanded that air fares be capped immediately.
”The government should clamp down on the airlines that prey on Gulf passengers. During the festive season airline companies increase ticket prices and this is detrimental to passengers looking to reconnect with their families -for many, after a long hiatus due to the pandemic.”
“Even Air India saw fares escalate by nearly ten times. This is a scam that has been going on for years. The central government refuses to raise their voice against this covetous attitude of the airlines,” the party said in a statement.
“Gulf expatriates are slowly returning to normalcy after two years of Covid, when a large majority of people could not visit their families. The Eid holidays have traditionally been a period to return home but the airline companies and their inhumane approach of doubling airfares even on short-haul flights, have denied many the chance to reconnect with their families.”
When services resumed on May 25, 2020 after a two-month lockdown due to the pandemic, the government had capped domestic flight fares based on flight duration.
According to this, for flights of less than 40 minutes duration, a passenger should not be charged less than Rs 2,900 (excluding GST) and not more than Rs 8,800 (excluding GST).
The Kerala Pravasi Association (KPA) demands that a similar model be set to regulate air fares from the Gulf states too.
“It is imperative that the Ministry of Civil Aviation intervene immediately to stop this exploitation by the airlines.”