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Condemble Profiteering

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 Aug 2017 12:00 AM GMT

At a time when Assam was reeling under unprecedented floods and train links with the rest of the country were totally disrupted, different airline companies operating in Assam played the most despicable roles imagible. They hiked their normal fares by anything between four and six times. In doing so, they demonstrated very clearly that well-established airlines were no better than opportunist businessmen when it came to making profits out of human hardships and tural calamities. They relinquished the remotest claim to any kind of respectability or business ethics that responsible business houses are credited with. They were no longer functioning as responsible and reliable airlines. They behaved like the most rapacious profiteers or racketeers anywhere in the world, seizing opportunities of helplessness among travellers to rake in extortiote profits. During the last few years, air travellers of Assam had got used to discounted fares and rebate schemes that had brought down air fares between Guwahati and Kolkata or Guwahati and Delhi very drastically to Rs 2,000 or Rs 3,200 respectively. But during the flood days, when train services were suspended, Guwahati-Kolkata air fares shot up to anything between Rs 9,000 and Rs 15,000 against the normal fares of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000. Guwahati-Delhi fares that ranged between Rs 6,000 and Rs 6,500, shot up to anything between Rs 15,000 and Rs 24,000. This is the kind of unethical business that people normally refer to as daylight robbery. One no longer expects airlines to follow ethical business practices after their real character has been exposed as the cheapest and most opportunistic sharks. What one would like to know is whether the State government has no responsibility towards its citizens who have been looted by unscrupulous airlines. Should the State government not pull up such airlines for unethical business practices and cancel a few operating licences?

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