Kerala's former finance minister TM Thomas Isaac on Friday highlighted an alleged disparity in domestic ticket charges at the airports in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram and asked the latter, which is owned by Adani Group, to explain its higher rates.
Isaac said in a Facebook post that the higher rates charged at Trivandrum Airport have the scope for a case study. CIAL (Cochin International Airport Ltd) is a public-private partnership with the state government holding the majority share.
"How lucky are Kochiites?" Isaac posted. He said the domestic ticket charge for a flight from Kochi to Hyderabad on Friday was Rs 5,171 while it was Rs 9,295 from Trivandrum.
"I realised the difference as I bought a ticket to Hyderabad to attend a seminar," Isaac wrote.
Further, the CPM central committee member compared the alleged ticket charges between Kochi/Trivandrum and the cities of Chennai, Bengaluru and Delhi.
According to Isaac, while CIAL charged Rs 1,496 to Bengaluru, the cost was Rs 5,033 from Trivandrum. To Chennai: Rs 2,119 (Kochi) and Rs 4,926 (Trivandrum) and to Delhi: Rs 8,478 (Kochi) and Rs 12,593 (Trivandrum).
"This is not a small difference. All the rates are for IndiGo flights. It is the airport that is looting. At Trivandrum, the user fees for domestic and international are Rs 598 and Rs 1,260 respectively. This difference is not properly explained," Isaac wrote.
He has claimed that even after a year since Adani took over the Trivandrum Airport the facilities remain the same. "Moreover, services haven't been restored to pre-COVID times... Adani Airport company has to explain this difference," he said.