LAHORE The National flag carrier, PIA has doubled its fares for its domestic flights, what the insiders termed a way, to open the window for the other airlines to make their business flourished on said routes, a travel agent seeking anonymity said on Tuesday.
New fares would be applicable from November 1, 2011 and a circular in this regard has been issued to all the travel agents to observe the new fares. It is worth mentioning here that the decision was taken at a time when Pakistan Railways is also facing severe crisis regarding its operation and a number of trains are halted due to non-availability of functional railway engines. A good numbers of passengers are seen facing waiting for trains on the main railway stations like Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi.
Management of the airline has cancelled the classes like K, M,T, N and O wherein common people could purchase the tickets on lower prices.
According to the fare details a common person could avail the facility of traveling on Lahore-Karachi-Lahore sector against payment of about Rs 13,000 and on Lahore-Islamabad-Lahore against fare of Rs 9,000.
After cancelation of all the classes offering above-said lower fares, PIA would now offer only three classes including Economy, Economy Plus and Club Class. Now PIA would charge Rs 27,000 as minimum fare from its passengers traveling in Economy class on Lahore-Karachi-Lahore route while Rs 17,000 from its passengers traveling on Lahore-Islamabad-Lahore route. A travel agent seeking anonymity said that he would be forced to sell the tickets of Shaheen, Airblue and other airlines who were offering hundred per cent cheaper tickets as compared to PIA. Another travel agent said increase in fares by PIA up to so alarming level clearly means that management deliberately encouraging its travel agents to sell Shaheen airlines and Airblue and the newly-emerging airlines. Sources said a conspiracy was being hatched by a high profile figure of the country to demoralise national flag carrier introducing a new airline owned by his near and dear one.
When contacted, PIA spokesman said fare was not increased. He said actually the PIAs Board of Director had abolished a 50 per cent discount in fare its passengers were enjoying in the past. He said now PIA would introduce Loyalty Cards to its passengers who wanted to avail 50 per cent discount on domestic routes. He said it was not an issue and the people whose interests were affected were raising hue and cry. He said present MD PIA had controlled corruption in PIAs procurement and store department which was in millions of rupees.