Bhubaneswar: India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Ministry of Civil Aviation have advised airlines to monitor “abnormal surges” in airfare from Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik international airport (BBI) and other airports in Odisha following Friday’s train accident, Indian media reports.
At least 288 people have been killed and 1,175 injured after three trains collided on the line close to Balasore in Odisha. Up to 90 trains have been canceled, primarily on the Southern and South Eastern Railway lines. A further 46 were diverted, and 11 short-terminated, leaving passengers scrambling for alternative transportation methods. While some passengers traveling on shorter legs opted for the bus, those covering longer distances have turned to India’s expansive domestic air network.
In a statement shared on Saturday, MoCA outlined concerns with rising airfares across Odisha and urged airlines to waive excess cancellation and rescheduling fees, allowing for more flexibility for travelers.
“In view of the unfortunate accident in Odisha, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has advised all airlines to monitor any abnormal surge in airfares to and from Bhubaneswar and other airports of the State and take necessary action regarding the same.”
“Taking advantage of [the train accident] at Balasore, some operators increased fare for Kolkata bound buses. [The State Transport Authority of Odisha] immediately intervened & penalised them. Airlines, however, fleece distressed people with impunity. Air fares shoot up after every such emergency,” tweeted Odisha Crime and Transport Commissioner Arun Bothra.