New Delhi [India]: Alarmed at skyrocketing flight fares between India and the UK, a senior IAS officer has formally lodged a complaint with the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Sanjeev Gupta, a senior IAS officer of 1985 batch said the inflated fares come at a time when colleges in UK are beginning admissions. Parents and guardians of those who have been admitted to UK educational institutes have also expressed their dismay and frustration at the exorbitant flight fares.
“The APIs from Airlines being consumed by Travel Portals have issues in some cases. If economy class is not available, it automatically fetches business fare but shows economy only on travel portal. The basic point still remains Rs 1.2 lakh for one-way direct flight is still too high,” Sanjeev Gupta tweeted.
The IAS officer shared multiple screenshots of several airlines which mentioned “price for one way Delhi to London flight of British Airways of Rs 3,95,306, and Air India showing of Rs 2,32,053 for one way for economy class.”
Responding to the IAS officer’s tweet, the national carrier Air India said, “Sir, we are trying to identify the source of these fares. The current fares available on our official website for Delhi London sector is approximately Rs 1.15 L.”
To this Gupta said: “Even Rs 1.15 lakh is exorbitant and unaffordable for most students seeking admission purely on merit and not on financial strength. I am able to identify perhaps a technical issue in display of those very high fares on travel portals & @GoogleTravel. Will write in some time.”
After the to and fro on Twitter, the Civil Aviation Ministry has asked private airlines to submit details about the airfares they are charging for flights between India and the UK.
A spokesperson for TATA-SIA Air Limited Vistara told ANI: “Pricing is always a function of supply and demand. There are only 15 flights a week allowed currently on the India – UK route for Indian carriers and when there is relaxation and more capacity allowed, it will automatically bring down prices.”
India has suspended international scheduled flights till August 31 amid the deadly COVID pandemic. All Indian and other international airlines are operating flights under the Air Transport Bubble Agreement.
On August 8, the United Kingdom said it will move India from the ‘red’ to ‘amber’ list, according to the information available on the UK government website. According to the amber list rules passengers are mandated to take a COVID-19 test 3 days prior to their travel to England.
“On your arrival in England, you must: quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days. Also, you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8,” said the UK government. (ANI)