Guwahati: Tripura already was suffering a lot due to the non-availability of air transportation as some of the carriers had stopped providing service to the state. Now the ones that are prevailing in the state have created another headache for the passengers as suddenly the airfares have rocketed sky-high, making it troublesome for the passengers to afford flight bookings.
Not only has this problem irked the people of Tripura, but the Chief Minister of the state Biplab Kumar Deb too have pondered over the issue and has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu. But sadly, that has also not worked as no solution to the air transportation issue has been found yet.
As very few flights are currently under operation in the Agartala airport, there has been an acute shortage of tickets. As stated by the travel agencies, the scaling back of operations by private airlines to and from Agartala has triggered a huge shortage of tickets, leading to an about six-fold increase in ticket prices.
An Airports Authority of India (AAI) official states, “After Jet Airways and SpiceJet suspended their operations to Agartala, IndiGo and Air India have also reduced their flights, resulting in a huge crisis.”
The unavailability of flights has even led hundreds of passengers to be stranded in Tripura. The Tripura government has, however, done everything possible to lure the private carriers. As a recent act, the government reduced the VAT (value added tax) on aviation turbine fuel by 2 percent on Sunday. The only motto behind the lowering the VAT in the state is to convince the private airlines to run their operations to the state.
The current service providers to and from Tripura are IndiGo and Air India. They operate direct flights between Agartala and Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Imphal.
The Agartala airport, also renamed as Tripura’s last rule Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur, is known to be the second busiest airport in the Northeast after Guwahati and this sudden issue of shortage of flights, flight tickets, and even sky-high ticket fares have posed as a big problem for the passengers.
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