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Private airlines jack up airfares

Visakhapatnam: Airfare being charged by private airlines to Hyderabad during the next three days is double or more than one way fare to Colombo, Singapore and Bangkok. 

The one way fare to these destinations is Rs 7,000 on an average whereas the fare to Hyderabad varies between Rs 10,000 and Rs 17,000 and to New Delhi between Rs 10,000 and Rs 24,000. All other major routes the fares have been doubled and tripled. The airlines have created an artificial demand by withdrawing flights on some key routes in spite of having full demand, said chairman of Tours and Travels Association of India O Naresh Kumar. 

He said on Friday and Saturday, Indigo airlines charged Rs 16,918 to Hyderabad and Spicejet Rs 16,425 and Rs 14,141.
Naresh Kumar in a letter to Union Minister for Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday requested to cap the maximum fare to 50 per cent or 100 per cent and not more.  

He said at a time when the government is looking at promoting airfares at lower rates, the actions of the airlines are contrary to the policies of the government.

During Mahanadu held in the city recently, the private operators charged abnormal fare from Vijayawada to Visakhapatnam forcing many people to take the roadways.  Floor leader in the Assembly and city MLA P Vishnu Kumar Raju got enraged over the abnormal fare and dashed off a letter to the Civil Aviation Minister to make efforts to control the fares. He too travelled by his personal car to Visakhapatnam. 

Travel operators said the number of air users is increasing every year and the airlines are taking advantage of it.   
During the last financial year, around 23 lakh people used the Vizag airport, which is 53 per cent more than the previous year.