The civil aviation ministry has taken a strong stance on airfares of flights not only to-and-fro Kochi but also airports across Kerala, following the massive flood that killed more than 350 people and displaced thousands. However, when MyNation searched for the current airfares, most airlines were found to be flouting the guidelines quite brazenly. 

When confronted, the airlines passed the buck to the travel portals, that sell bulk of their tickets.

Balu Ramachandran, Head- air & distribution, of Cleartrip, however, put the blame back on the airlines by saying, "As far as the airline prices are concerned, Cleartrip displays and sells fares that have been filed by the airline and we do not have any role in changing the list prices."

Also read: Kerala, Kodagu floods: Shame on those politicising calamity, relief funds

According to a govrnment directive, prices for nonstop flights have been set for Rs 10000 for longer and Rs 8000 for shorter routes of flights to Kerala. The apex body of Aviation Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is supposedly monitoring airfares in 32 routes. But look what he found.

Kochi Airport 

Cochin INS Garuda is opened for commercial flight landing as an emergency measure, while Kochi International Airport remains closed till August 26. 

The only flight from Delhi to Kochi, which is an Air India flight, has its tickets priced at Rs 44,441.

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There are multiple flights available for tomorrow from Kochi to Delhi. But the lowest airfare is Rs 10180 violating the government ‘advise’. The highest airfare in this route tomorrow is of Jet Airways, which is Rs 36,729.

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Trivandrum Airport:

The lowest airfare for Delhi to Travandrum tomorrow is of Vistara, which is priced at Rs 9917. On the other hand, the highest one is at a whopping amount of Rs 1,46,097 and its Jet Airways again.

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Trichy Airport:

The ministry has asked not only airports in Kerala but also adjoining airports, like Trichy, to scale down the price according to the directive. However, the prices remain high. Flights to Trichy from Delhi for tomorrow is priced as high as Rs 23,608. And this time Air India is at fault. However, the minimum price for this route remains within the Rs 10,000 bracket. 

Also read: Kerala floods: Victims saved by Indian Navy paint 'thanks' on the roof

After MyNation’s intervention, the prices of the tickets for several routes are drastically reduced. However, some airlines still have very high airfares from certain places to Kerala, when booked through travel portals. The question remains: Do travel portals not come under the purview of this government directive? Will the ministry or the DGCA step in to help passengers?  

Inundated Kochi Airport