In a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kerala CPI-M Rajya Sabha Member V. Sivadasan voiced concern about the increase in airfare during the Onam festival.
Sivadasan stated in the letter that Onam is a time for all Malayalis to reunite with their family members who have returned to their native country. This is the time of year when they make sure to visit their family and friends, so it is disappointing that the airlines have turned this happy occasion into a profitable way to generate money.
“Ahead of Onam, air carriers are jacking up the fares on select routes based on demand. This has affected both domestic and international travellers who wish to come home. It has been reported that ticket prices from Thiruvananthapuram to other cities have skyrocketed. And it is reported that the outbound travel after the festival will be even costlier.” Sivadasan said.
In the letter, he added that flight costs are 8 to 10 times higher during Onam than reported by the mainstream media. There is concern that the cost of a return trip after the festival will be quite expensive since airlines will take advantage of people’s desire to return to their jobs.
Similar extraction is done at other festive times as well, so it’s important to stop this behaviour.
“After consultation with the stakeholders, the government should introduce a price band where the upper limits are fixed. This is essential to ensure the rights of the travellers,” he added.
Sivadasan further urged the Union Civil Aviation Minister for his “urgent intervention” in the matter.
“I request your kind and urgent intervention in this issue so that this unjust treatment meted out to the passengers is stopped and this Onam becomes a happy one for all Malayalis, getting back to their dear ones,” he wrote.