• UP govt to directly sell intra-state flight tickets

    To provide wings to its plan to start intra-state air service in Uttar Pradesh, the Akhilesh government is all set to introduce a system in which it will sell tickets directly to flyers after having already paid per-hour charges to service providers.
    Tourists flying to destinations like Agra, Varanasi or Kushinagar from Lucknow will have to buy tickets from the UP tourism department.
    According to principal secretary for tourism, Navneet Sehgal, the government will underwrite all seats and, in turn, give per-hour flying charges to airlines.
    Once UP tourism takes all the seats, it will sell them to passengers through UP Tour, the department’s ticketing agency. Mr Sehgal said UP Tour will have a special website and counter for booking tickets.
    The official said that bids will soon be invited from airlines and tenders will be allotted to the company that quotes lowest flying hour rates. The new scheme, he said, would be passenger-friendly because the promoters will not be concerned about sale of tickets.
    The Akhilesh government has brought in changes in policy for introducing the inter city airline services to revive its nearly dumped policy.
    The tourism department had introduced a scheme to launch intra-state flights two years back but it never took off since investors and owners of private airlines showed no interest on grounds of feasibility. The state government has now repackaged the scheme and will table it for approval in the next cabinet meeting. Zack Martin Jersey

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