After pubs and multiplexes, it seems to be the turn of private charter firms to rake in the big bucks.
Select cricket fans from Mumbai are spending eight times the cost of a business class return air ticket from London to fly to Chandigarh to watch India take on arch-rival Pakistan in the World Cup semi-finals at Mohali.
A family, which is in the power generation business, has hired a six-seater Citation Jet from Airnetz Aviation, a private charter company in Vile Parle, for Rs 10 lakh.
“We had many queries, but they did not translate into bookings because the cost has gone up by approximately Rs 2.5 lakh because of a parking slot shortage at Chandigarh,” said Ameya Gore, spokesperson, Airnetz.
Nikesh Goswami, of Leo Air Charters, said they would be ferrying cricket fans on board a similar six-seater business jet to Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Mumbai airport sources said private charter firms and private jet owners are awaiting clearance from the Indian Air Force that manages Chandigarh airport.
“We expect many of them to submit their flight plans on Wednesday,” said an air traffic control official requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Domestic carriers are also operating additional flights to Chandigarh to accommodate the rush. Jet Airways said it would operate an additional flight each from Mumbai and Delhi to Chandigarh.
Kingfisher Airlines and low-cost carrier GoAir had already announced additional flights to the Punjab city.
Fares on scheduled flights for Wednesday have also shot up from the normal range of Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 to Rs 18,000 to Rs 22,000.