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JK govt to charter planes for low-cost air travel for tourists

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New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir government plans to run chartered planes on Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Srinagar sectors at a fixed price of Rs 5,000 in an attempt to provide low cost air travel option as part of encouraging tourism. After working out all details, the state government intends to start operating these flights from next month so that many domestic tourists, especially from Delhi, can visit Kashmir during summer vacations in educational institutions, official sources said.

According to the sources, the state government has received quotation from Air India and is awaiting prices from other operators before the deal is finalised. “At present, the state government intends to operate three flights daily from Delhi to Srinagar via Jammu. After calculating the operating cost and other things, we expect that a passenger will have to shell Rs 5000 irrespective of whether the journey ends in Jammu or in Srinagar,” a senior state government official said.

The move comes after several re

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presentations by various travel associations to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who also holds the portfolio of Tourism.

The associations have said that it was difficult to get air tickets at an affordable price during tourist season as airlines were charging at times Rs 20,000 between Delhi and Srinagar, official sources said.

The state Chief Minister was petitioned by many tour operators who had spoken about not being able to convince domestic tourists to travel to Kashmir as it was cheaper to fly to any foreign destination than to the Valley because of high prices, the sources said.