In yet another direction to help passengers trapped in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, DGCA today asked all airlines to cap the fares on Srinagar-Delhi and Leh-Delhi sectors to Rs 2,800 and Rs 3,000.
If an air traveller is cash-strapped due to the precarious situation prevailing in Srinagar and elsewhere in the state, the DGCA has asked the air carriers to collect fares only after they reached Delhi.
The airlines have also been asked to mount additional flights to clear the rush of outbound tourists from Srinagar.
The decisions were taken by the aviation regulator in consultation with the airlines in view of the flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir and all airlines have agreed to the decision, official sources said.
With most of Srinagar submerged, passengers were finding it extremely difficult to reach the airport and those who were able to make it as well as incoming passengers were not able to leave the airport due to the rising water levels all around the capital city.
Following discussions with the airlines, DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar issued the instructions.
In letters to various airlines flying to and from Srinagar, DGCA’s Joint Director General Lalit Gupta, “All airlines must ensure that they not charge the prevalent airfare and instead charge only fixed airfare, which in any case should not exceed Rs 2800 (all inclusive) on Srinagar- Delhi sector till the flash flood situation prevails.”
“Airlines must airlift those passengers from Srinagar also, who do not have any money at this stage. Such passengers may be charged airfare upon arrival at Delhi,” Gupta said.
Similar was the letter sent to those flying to Leh, where the all-inclusive fare was to be Rs 3,000. There are about 350 passengers who were stranded at Leh.
DGCA had earlier directed all airlines not to charge anything extra from passengers from Srinagar and Jammu if they rescheduled or cancelled their bookings. They were also asked not to levy any cancellation fee.
Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and other carriers today said they had made arrangements to extend the waiver for refund or reissue of tickets as per the DGCA directive.