Biplab Deb targets airlines including Air India, says flyers being exploited; here is why

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New Delhi | Updated: November 21, 2018 4:05:36 PM

In his letter to the Union minister, Biplab Deb said that there has been a steep hike in airfares.

Biplab Kumar DebIn the letter, CM Biplab Deb has also written that airlines have a mandatory obligation to operate 10 per cent of their capacity

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has claimed that airlines, including nationalised carrier Air India, have been “exploiting” flyers of the state. Deb, who is known for making bizarre statements in recent times, has also sought a cap on airfares for airlines operating in Tripura and has written to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu.

In his letter to the Union minister, Deb said that there has been a steep hike in airfares. He stated that earlier the airfare between Agartala and Kolkata used to be around Rs. 2,000. Now the fares rose up to Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 15,000. “In fact, on many occasions, tickets were not available at any price. As a result, even serious patients are not able to move out of Tripura. All the airlines, including Air India, are exploiting the common people of Tripura,” Deb wrote in the letter, reported Indian Express.

In the letter, CM Deb has also written that airlines have a mandatory obligation to operate 10 per cent of their capacity to remote locations including Northeastern states as per the Civil Aviation Ministry’s Route Dispersal Policy (RDP) revision in 2014 and 2016. Emphasizing that there is a crisis in air travel in Northeast India, CM Deb wrote that the situation has occurred due to airlines reducing their service in the region from the mandatory obligation of 10 per cent operation to 6 per cent. CM Deb wrote that a few states were also added in the list of remote locations and this has reduced focus on the Northeast.

This is no the first time that Deb has raised reservations over airfare. He had earlier written to the Centre in October claiming that IndiGo Airlines was creating a “monopolistic situation” in Agartala after the withdrawal of operations by SpiceJet.

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