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Fix airfares ceiling, Kerala asks Centre

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 22 : The central government should take appropriate steps to fix a ceiling on airfares in the Middle-East sector, said a Kerala minister.

State Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph told reporters here Thursday that over the last many years airline companies have been exploiting those who travel to and from the Middle-East and this is all the more during the peak season when fares are jacked up eight to ten times as compared to the off-season.

"The Centre should step in and fix a ceiling on Air India and Air India Express flights based on IATA guidelines," said Joseph.

He said that while the off-season one-way fare to any of the Middle East destination is around Rs.8,000 to Rs.10,000, it shoots up to as high as Rs.45,000 during peak season.

"This is nothing but exploiting our people... just because nothing much could be done on this aspect during the 10-year rule of the UPA government, there is nothing that prevents the present BJP-led NDA government from stepping in to end this exploitation by airline companies," Joseph said.

July, August and September are the peak holiday season for the more than two million Kerala diaspora settled in the various Middle-East countries and September is also the festival season in Kerala when the harvest festival is celebrated. During these months, many Keralites prefer to travel home.

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