More flights will bring fares down

MUSCAT, DEC 29 – The high air fare on the sector between the Gulf and India is expected to be solved next year, said Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs. “My hope is that in the coming year, the air traffic will increase and there will be more flights and the market itself will provide better solutions,” the minister told the Observer in an exclusive interview. He said that the airline sector in India is undergoing a transition. This is expected to help increase the air traffic and place the country in a better place in easing air fares.

Sharing the concerns of the Indian community, especially the blue collar workers, the minister said, “It is important for them to be able to travel back home.” The government is taking great care to promote the welfare of people especially when someone is in distress. The measures, apart from the Indian Community Welfare Fund, include persuading airlines to offer reasonable fares, he said. “My predecessor (late) Sushma Swaraj was very active and ensured the welfare of the Indians living abroad. I find that the legacy has become a habit in the embassies as they respond immediately to those in distress,” he said, adding, “I see a very big change in the mentality of the embassy in their responds to the community.”

Regarding the rehabilitation of those who lose jobs in the Gulf countries and return to India, the minister said that there is no quick fix for the problem. “I think they will compete for opportunities among those living in India. I am confident they will do well,” he said. According to him, they bring home a lot of experience and in the competitive process, they will be able to do well.