Srinagar: While criticising arbitrary hike in airfares by various airlines operating between Delhi to Jammu and Srinagar, PDP MLA has sought revision in the tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF), which could facilitate the reduction of air tariff structure of various airlines, to promote the influx of tourists in the state.
MLA Rafiabad, Yawar Dilawar Mir said that the state especially the tourism sector is badly bearing the brunt of arbitrary hike in airfares as air travel to State has become costlier which consequently affects tourism influx and also causes hardships for the local flyers.
It has been witnessed that arbitrary increase in airfare has become a phenomenon now, in the wake of bad weather in Kashmir and the consequent closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which is the Valleys only surface link with rest of the world and remains often closed in winter months due to landslides caused by incessant rains or snowfall in Kashmir, Mir added.
He has expressed concern over the sudden increase in air fares during the peak tourist season in the state and has demanded to explore wet leasing arrangements and chartered flights during the peak tourist months.
This way the fares of these flights could be capped so as to put market pressure on all airlines to hold their rates in an acceptable band, He said.
He has also requested the Union Tourism Minister, and the Civil Aviation Ministry, to explore re-starting operation of Srinagar – Dubai flights for facilitating business class of the state.
Mir has also regretted for inordinate delay in starting night landing of flights at the Srinagar International Airport although the Defence Ministry has reportedly three years back given its clearance for operation of civilian flights at the Srinagar International Airport till 10 PM daily.
Airport authorities and the Defence Ministry must work together to provide necessary infrastructure at the Srinagar Airport for the purpose, Mir has urged.
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