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Soaring airfare to Himachal Pradesh's Kangra valley hits travellers hard

Delhi-Dharamsala one-way airfare is now in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 14,000

Soaring airfare to Himachal Pradesh's Kangra valley hits travellers hard

Picture for representational purpose only.



Ravinder Sood

Palampur (HP), April 2

With the onset of the tourist season in the Kangra valley, airlines have increased the fare on the Delhi-Dharamsala and Chandigarh-Dharamsala air circuits. The Delhi-Dharamsala one-way airfare is now in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 14,000. The airfare between Chandigarh and Dharamsala has gone up to Rs 5,000 for a 40-minute flight.

In the winter, the Delhi-Dharamsala airfare never crossed Rs 7,000 and remained in the range of Rs 4,500 to Rs 7,000. In the Chandigarh-Dharamsala circuit, Air India was operating one flight and the fare remained between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,500 throughout the year.

At present, Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet are operating at least six flights on the Delhi-Dharamsala and Chandigarh-Dharamsala sectors. Sources said even though most seats remained vacant, the airlines had increased the fare rather than slashing it.

Regular fliers, including local businessmen, are the worst affected. Hoteliers said if the airfare was not slashed, it could impact the tourism industry in the state. They said because of the high airfare between Delhi and Dharamsala, most travel agencies were booking air tickets via Chandigarh, Amritsar and Jammu for tourists coming to the Kangra valley as the airfare was almost half.

The travel agencies were also shifting tourists to Kashmir due to less airfare, which was adversely affecting the tourism industry in the state.

The airfare from Delhi to Srinagar and Delhi to Jammu is between Rs 4,000 and Rs 6,000, whereas for Dharamsala, it touches Rs 14,000, which is unreasonably high.

The Gaggal airport in Kangra is the busiest in the state. At present, the airstrip here is just 1,372 metre long and can accommodate only 70-seater planes. As only small planes can land here, the airfares to the region are among the highest in the country. The Dharamsala-Delhi airfare goes as high as Rs 21,000 for one-way trips during the peak season.

#Dharamsala #Kangra #Palampur


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