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`AI imposing undue burden on NoRKs'

By Our Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE, MAY 30. The UAE coordinator of All India Airport Users Forum and follow-up committee member of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (UAE), Remila Sughdev, has termed as totally unjustified the surcharge being levied by Air India on passengers in the international sector. This is over and above the already high fare being charged on passengers.

In a letter to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry, the forum said such measures by Air India amounted to imposing an undue burden on Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs). It is alleged that the new levy and the high fare have been introduced with a view to overcoming its losses.

She said the Air India Chairman had attributed the upward revision of fare to the levy of fuel tax. But following consistent protests from NoRKs, the State Government had waived the fuel tax. Still, the national air carrier is not prepared to reduce the fare correspondingly.

She said that Air India had started levying a surcharge from May 27 NoRKs on grounds that the international fuel price had been increased. Such step-motherly treatment of Keralites is unfair, especially when they contribute to the foreign exchange of the country.

Budget Airlines of the Sharjah Government is prepared to introduce flights in three sectors of Kerala. But the Union Civil Aviation Ministry is hesitating to grant permission to it, thereby indirectly helping Air India to maintain its monopoly in these sectors.

The forum said that NoRKs had to resort to direct action against the highly unfair attitude of Air India and the authorities concerned.

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