In the wake of increasing airfare, Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan met the Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola in New Delhi. After the meeting, the Chief Minister has also called for a meeting with various airlines at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.
Kerala is one of the states that got severely affected due to the steep rise in airfare. It has a significant share of its population residing outside the country, mainly in the Gulf regions. The non-resident Indians find it difficult to return to the country due to the airfare hike. Besides the grounding of Jet Airways, the festivals and vacation season have also contributed to the rise in airfare.
Kerala has four international airports, the highest in the country. The Non-Resident population of the state is also particularly high. There is a steep rise in airfares during festivals such as Onam, Christmas and Ramzan, the CM said.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan also discussed the possibility of developing a prime aviation hub in Kerala. Enhancing the amenities in the four airports in the state and adding more flights from the airports were also discussed.
The flight operations at Kannur airport is not proportionate to the number of passengers. More services should start from Kannur airport. Permission is also required for the service of international flights from there. Airline operators have shown interest to start services from Colombo, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Kannur, CM said.
Chief Minister has also requested to resume the Kozhikode-Hyderabad services, and even to start a direct flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Japan. Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola has reportedly agreed to look into the matter and has also assured to call for a meeting with airlines to discuss regarding the price rise.