New Delhi: Air India has capped fares of all its flights to and from Srinagar till August 15, a spokesperson for the airline said on Sunday. Speaking to ANI, AI spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said the national carrier has capped fares at Rs 9500 after Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday issued a security advisory for tourists and Amarnath yatris asking them to leave the Valley immediately citing security concerns.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has advised airlines to rein in surging airfares for pilgrims returning from Amarnath Yatra. Airfares for flights from Srinagar over the weekend shot up to abnormally high levels following the security advisory for tourists and pilgrims.
For a one-way direct flight from Srinagar to Delhi, even low-cost airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and AirAsia charged between Rs 10,000 to Rs 22,000, according to travel portals, as against around Rs 3,000.
Similarly, from Srinagar to Jammu, flight rates on Saturday were Rs 16,000. Other places like Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Jaipur also witnessed a jump in airfares ranging between Rs 10,000 to Rs 19,000.
Web portals of several airlines with flights from Srinagar on Saturday and Sunday showed that virtually all seats were sold out. The advisory to Amarnath yatris was issued after it was announced in a joint press conference of the Army and police forces in Srinagar that weapons and ammunition were recovered in the Amarnath Yatra route.
They also said terrorists from Pakistan were planning to launch an attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, based on credible inputs. In view of the additional rush of passengers, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on Friday asked Indian airlines to be prepared to operate extra flights to and from Srinagar to fly out Amarnath Yatris and tourists from the Valley.
Soon after DGCA`s directions, airlines made announcements to give a full fee waiver on rescheduling/cancellation for all its flights to/from Srinagar.