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Srinagar: Travel partners have sent an SOS to the government after airlines hiked fares for the second time in three months.
Tourist operators fear that the long ride may hinder the flow of tourists in the spring.
Currently, Kashmir is witnessing a huge rush of tourists, especially from Maharashtra and Gujarat. All hotels and houseboats are booked until April.
For the last week, the flight has increased by 75 percent.
A cursory glance at the flight chart through portals including MakeMy Trip and EaseMyTrip shows that the fare from New Delhi to Kashmir has gone up to Rs 14,000.
A week or two earlier, a flight from the same destination to the valley was only Rs 5000-5500. A return ticket from Kashmir to Delhi also proves to be about 35 percent longer. A ticket to Delhi is priced at Rs 83.00.
From Gujarat, where from Kashmir receives tourists in good measure, the flight ranges from Rs 12,000 to 18,000.
A flight from Maharashtra to Srinagar costs Rs 13,000. The addition of more than 50 percent.
At present a total of 12000 passengers travel to and fro in 68 flights at Srinagar airport. There were about 3000 more tourists compared to the peak winter months – January and February – when Kashmir received 2.5 lakh tourists.
Travel agents fear that the current travel in the airline may affect the flow of tourists in the spring. They said they have handed over the question of flight control to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
“We are getting calls from our customers that the flight to Srinagar is higher than other destinations. It disrupts our packages and affects the entire hospitality sector. We have already submitted the demand of air traffic control and fare of hospitality industry in general to the government,” said Manzoor Ahmad Pakhtoon, president of Kashmir Houseboat owners association.
He said the government should put a cap on the plane. “Airline travelers make up a large proportion of total arrivals. A package to Southeast Asia is much cheaper than Kashmir because of air travel,” said Pakhtoon.
Official sources said that the air travel has been decided and more flights will be added to cater to the rush of tourists. “The basic reason behind the air travel is the huge rush of tourists to Kashmir. More flights are expected to be added for Srinagar airport in the coming weeks,” they said.