The Dubai Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (Dubai KMCC) is raising a clarion call to the Kerala State government, urging them to expedite the launch of ‘Air Kerala’ airways to combat the exploitation of Keralites by airline companies. The distressing issue of exorbitant airfare from West Asia to Kerala has reached alarming levels, with Dubai KMCC acting chairman Ibrahim Murichandi shedding light on this pressing concern.
Mr. Murichandi addressed reporters on Friday, highlighting the exorbitant ticket pricing strategy employed by airline companies during the August-September season. Notably, this price surge comes in addition to the already hefty 41% fare increase imposed during the pandemic. Furthermore, airline companies further inflate ticket prices during peak travel times and weekends, compounding the financial burden on travelers.
Expatriate Indians residing in West Asia often return to Kerala during the Onam season, aiming to be back before schools reopen in the first week of September. Families traveling together are particularly hard-hit by the unreasonable fare hikes, with ticket costs running into millions. Mr. Murichandi emphasized that airline companies are capitalizing on the urgency and desperation of travelers, making air travel financially unviable for many.
A glaring disparity exists between airfares from Kerala to West Asia compared to those from other Indian cities like Bengaluru or Mumbai. This glaring inequity is a pressing concern that demands immediate attention and rectification.
Additionally, KMCC has voiced grievances about the quality of service on Air India Express flights. They have pointed out that the airline often fails to provide adequate support to passengers who find themselves disembarking at airports other than their intended destination. Passengers are also reportedly left without food or water for extended periods, ranging from six to 14 hours.
In an effort to ameliorate this situation, KMCC has stepped forward by offering to sponsor water bottles for passengers flying with Air India Express.
At the press meet, Vice President O.K. Ibrahim was also in attendance, emphasizing the importance of addressing these issues promptly.
The Dubai KMCC’s call for the immediate launch of ‘Air Kerala’ airways is grounded in the objective of putting an end to the exploitation of Keralites by airlines. By providing a more affordable and accessible travel option, ‘Air Kerala’ could significantly alleviate the financial burden on travelers during peak seasons and ensure fair and equitable airfare pricing.
As this pressing issue gains attention, it remains to be seen how the Kerala State government and relevant authorities will respond. The launch of ‘Air Kerala’ could potentially usher in a new era of fair and affordable air travel for Keralites, addressing the concerns raised by Dubai KMCC and ensuring that the expatriate community is not subjected to exploitation by airline companies. Stay tuned for updates on this important matter.