Pvt airlines exploiting passengers by fare hike

New Delhi: Noting that private airlines had raised fares exorbitantly in the wake of Air India strike, members in the Rajya Sabha today voiced concern over the matter even as the government promised to ask such carriers not to take advantage of the situation.

Raising the matter during Zero Hour, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP) said passengers were facing harassment due to cancellation of Air India flights on one hand and hike in fares by private airlines on the other. Naqvi said the private airlines were taking advantage of the situation and exploiting passengers by exorbitantly raising fares, even more than doubling ticket costs. He demanded a direction be given to the Civil Aviation Minister to tell the House as to what action was being taken against such private airlines.

P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, asked the Government to take the issue seriously. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat then said the Government shared the concerns of members and assured them of steps to stop such airlines from taking advantage of the situation. Rawat said, “We share the concerns of all the members… The matter has been brought to the notice of the Civil Aviation Minister and I hope some concrete steps will be taken and private airlines told to resist from such activities.”

Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) said the discussion on the working of Civil Aviation Ministry was not being taken up due to “non-availability” of the Minister. “This is not fair,” Rudy, a former civil aviation minister, said.