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Chuck those buses, take a flight home this Onam

Chuck those buses, take a flight home this Onam
For Kochiites who work at IT firms in Bangalore, travelling home by air this Onam would not only save time but will also be economical, if the tickets are booked right away.

While the minimum fare for a one-hour flight from Bangalore to Kochi was Rs 2,345 on Tuesday on popular air travel booking websites, you may have to shell out more for an AC sleeper bus of a reputed firm, which would take almost 10 hours to reach Kochi from Bangalore.

Expecting the festival rush, travel operators have already increased fares by Rs 500 to Rs 850 on interstate buses. This is set to increase further in the coming days. Travel agents said they hike the fares during the festival season as this is the only time they get good bookings.

To meet the demand, operators have introduced more interstate bus services by paying special taxes to run for seven days. "We only have a small number of bookings now. Currently, the fare for AC sleeper from Bangalore to Kochi is Rs 1,150. It will increase to at least Rs 1,600 during Onam," said Suresh Kallada, owner of Kallada Travels.

A random check revealed that the fare for interstate multi-axle semi-sleeper buses for September 5 is Rs 2,000, for AC semi-sleeper the rate is Rs 1,899 while it is Rs 2,699 for AC sleeper.

"More flights have been introduced on the Bangalore-Kochi route leading to increased competition and hence a reduction in fares. Those who had booked in advance ? when discounts were offered ?

would have got one-way tickets priced as low as Rs 1,800 to Kochi from Bangalore and even Chennai for September," said Praveen N S of New Prime India (Cochin)

Tours and Travels

.Meanwhile, the bus fare from Chennai to Kochi for AC semi-sleeper is Rs 1,800, the rate is Rs 1,600 for AC sleeper, Rs 1,900 for AC-seated and Rs 1,999 for multi-axle semi-sleeper for the nearly 12-hour travel from Chennai to Kochi. In contrast, the 70-minute flight journey costs Rs 3,064.

"As bus operators increase the fare during Onam, I booked a train ticket to Kerala this time," said Uma Damodaran, a software engineer who works in Chennai. The railways have introduced special trains to and from Chennai as train tickets have sold out and the rush is still increasing. No special train has, however, been introduced from Bangalore to Kochi.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has also submitted a proposal to run two additional superfast buses from Bangalore. "We have given a proposal to the department to allow us permit to run two superfast buses from Bangalore. The additional services will start from September 3," said Madhanamohanan, KSRTC district transport officer.