Spot air fares out of Bengaluru, one of the nearest airports from Chennai, have shot through the roof with the cheapest available ticket going for over Rs 20,000 on many sectors.
The cheapest ticket on travel portals for Bengaluru-Delhi flights on Saturday was priced at Rs 21,081; for Bengaluru-Mumbai, it was Rs 22,323, Bengaluru-Ahmedabad Rs 28,430 and Bengaluru-Kolkata for Rs 12,086.
Spot fares indicate prices of tickets booked at short notices, around four-six hours before travel. However, fares for travel for later days were considerably lower.
People stranded and desperate to get out of Chennai have been travelling around 300km to Bengaluru after incessant rains and floods forced aviation authorities to shut down operations at the airport till December 6 and allow only limited operations.
“This was bound to happen. However, airlines need to have a heart and not overcharge people in distress,” said Rajji Rai, former president of the Travel Agents Association of India.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is monitoring the situation and the government might intervene if fares continue to skyrocket, said sources.
“Limited commercial flight operations from Rajali naval air station in Arakkonam started on Friday. Rs 1,000 as fare will be charged for travelling to southern states and Rs 2,000 will be charged for northern states,” an aviation ministry official said.
To clear stranded passengers, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is likely to start limited operations from Chennai airport from Saturday. It, the state-run operator said, would be carried during the day while night operations could begin in a couple of days.