Representational Image | Mathrubhumi
Karipur: Ticket rates to gulf countries from Kerala through Air India flights have increased drastically after the Tata-owned airline company decided to wind up several services from Kerala. Tata aims to offer premium flights to major cities and Air India Express flights to smaller cities.
However, the move from Air India took many Gulf Malayalis off-guard as they struggle to book their tickets ahead of the summer holidays. With more than 1000 seats reduced, the passengers are forced to pay a sizeable amount to book a flight to the state.
Last February, Air India cancelled Sharjah-Kozhikode-Sharjah and Dubai-Kozhikode-Dubai flights and reduced the number of services from UAE to Kerala to 7 from 21. Further, the airline company also stopped single Dreamliner service to the state. Around 600 seats were reduced after Air India Express took over services to Kozhikode airport.
Meanwhile, the ticket availability for the upcoming months has put travellers in a tough spot. The minimum fares from Kozhikode-Dubai and Kozhikode-Abu Dhabi flights have been increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 34,698 and Rs 10,000 to Rs 31,000, respectively. The flight to Sharjah from Kozhikode will now cost around Rs 53,000. However, the rate of return flights from the Middle East remains cheaper.
Meanwhile, the flights fares to Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi from Kochi have increased to Rs 32,000, Rs 31,000 and Rs 32,000, respectively.