Jat stir: Airlines to fly additional flights for stranded passengers

Jat stir: Airlines to fly additional flights for stranded passengers
With public transport system in Haryana in complete disarray because of the Jat stir for quota, domestic airlines have decided to operate additional flights from here to Chandigarh, Amritsar and Jaipur to enable stranded people reach their destinations.

The decision came after the Civil Aviation Ministry asked the airlines to mount additional capacity on these routes as rail and road transport services were completely paralysed in the wake of the nearly week-long agitation.

Budget carrier SpiceJet said it is operating 14 additional services from the national capital to Chandigarh, Amritsar and Jaipur and back, while Jet Airways said it will operate two additional flights, one each to Chandigarh and Amritsar from Delhi tomorrow.

National carrier Air India also operated one special flight to Chandigarh and Amritsar today with nominal fares.

"The additional flights have been put in place at a very short notice and we are the only airline to be operating a total of seven additional return flights (14 one-way) on the requisite routes to facilitate the stranded commuters," SpiceJet said.

Jet Airways said it was operating additional services to assist those who have been inconvenienced by the lack of availability of other means of transportation to and from these cities.

Gurgaon-based IndiGo said it was adding an additional flight on its Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Chandigarh routes, which will be operated tomorrow.

"The airline will also commence two additional flights from Delhi to Chandigarh on February 23 to enable those stranded due to the ongoing protests to travel between the two cities," it said.

Airport managers in these airports have been given clear instructions to facilitate best possible services to stranded passengers, IndiGo added.

GoAir will also operate four additional flights -- two each to Chandigarh and Jaipur -- from Delhi tomorrow.

Amid reports that some airlines were overcharging and that some travel portals were exhibiting fares as high as Rs 89,000 for a flight to Delhi from Chandigarh, Jet Airways today said it was not charging "high" air fares for flights.

"Most Jet Airways direct flights to/from Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jammu, Srinagar, Leh and Dehradun have been sold out. Some fares seen on third party online travel portals are constructed by those websites by combining the last available seats on indirect routes with multi-stop flights constructed over any mid-point transfer city to create a roundabout itinerary. In many cases Premiere (business class) cabin fares are shown," a Jet Airways spokesperson said.

The higher fares that are referred on third party travel portals are the combination of fares over multi-stop flights. These fares are not available on Jet Airways website, he said.

"Such fares will be influenced by the availability of seats on these two different flights and hence will be generally higher than the direct non-stop flights. It is important to note that the journey times on these itineraries referred to are significantly higher than the direct flight," the spokesperson said.

"We are working with third party travel portals to not show such roundabout itineraries with last available Premiere cabin seats," it said.

Arson and violence continued unabated in parts of Haryana today as the death toll in the Jat quota agitation mounted to 10, with four more people succumbing to injuries overnight.

Road and rail traffic remained paralysed as essential supplies, including fuel, milk and vegetables were severely hit. ATMs were also running out of cash, official sources said.

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