Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday appea-led to the Centre to reduce the “unfair” hike in air fares to Gulf nations effected by airlines in view of the summer vacation. The increased fares were causing hardship for Keralites who are already in crisis due to job losses, and this will be an 'unbearable burden', he said in a letter to civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju. Stating that the fares had been doubled, he sought the urgent intervention of the Union government to reduce the same and also fixing a ceiling on the quantum of increase to the Gulf.
He said Air India Express should be allowed to operate more services on the Gulf route. Private airlines should be asked to start more services to the region. If the hike in fares to the Gulf region was not prevented, there was a possibility that ticket prices to the US and Europe would also go up, he added. The average fares in the gulf sector in the last three months was `6,000 to `12,000 (one way) and `16,000 to Rs 18,000 (up and down). However, the fares had doubled with vacations for schools having started, he added.