The Kerala Association of Travel Agents has demanded that open-sky policy be implemented in the Gulf sector to avoid the increase in airfares in the Gulf-Kerala sector and to permit more carriers on the route.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and the Union Ministers from Kerala should put pressure on Union Civil Aviation Ministry to implement the open-sky policy and to alleviate the miseries of the Non-Resident Keralites, association president K.V. Muralidharan said in a statement here.

He alleged conspiracy behind the ongoing strike by the pilots of Air India. Since the launch of the stir by the Indian Pilots Guild, economy class tickets became a rare commodity. Foreign carriers hiked the airfare by 50 to 100 per cent. A conspiracy could be suspected behind the strike as the stir was launched when the Union government made available funds for the national carrier to tide over the crisis, he said.

Mr. Muralidharan alleged that some top officials in the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Air India were behind the continuation of the strike. The strike should be dealt with firmly using ESMA.

He said the Centre and the Civil Aviation Ministry should show the political will to end the stir.

Keywords: Travel Agents