A sudden increase in prices for domestic air travel in Dafur, especially the difference in prices for similar distances, has been widely criticised as ‘strange’ and ‘unjustified’.
Sudan's Civil Aviation Authorities adopted the sudden increase in domestic air travel prices on Sunday. The fare from El Geneina (West Darfur) to Khartoum has increased to SDG1,610 ($263.50), Nyala to Khartoum to SDG1,310 ($213.20), El Fasher to Khartoum to SDG1,150 ($187.17) and from Port Sudan to Khartoum to 845 SDG ($137.50).
In May this year, tickets from El Geneina to Khartoum were also suddenly raised from SDG1,050 ($171) to SDG1,190 ($194), representing an increase of $70 within four months.
Lawyer and human rights activist Adam Sharif criticised the sudden increases a day later. To Radio Dabanga he described them as “strange and exaggerated”, and demanded the aviation authority to cancel this decision and impose more suitable ticket prices.
“There is no way or means to connect Khartoum state with Darfur states except through aviation. Core services such as education and health are focused there,” Sharif explained the importance of the air routes.
“The distance between Khartoum and Nyala and Khartoum and Port Sudan is the same. I wonder about the differences in the prices of the tickets.”
'Difficult economic conditions in Darfur should be taken into account.'
Speaking from Khartoum, Member of Parliament Siham Hassan described the spike in airfares as “unjustified”. She has raised the earlier hike in May in front of the National Parliament, and questioned the Minister of Transport and Roads. Hassan told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the minister promised at the time to form a committee to review the decision.
“Today I was surprised to see the new increases,” she said, adding that the distance between the cities of Blue Nile and El Fasher in North Darfur is the same, but the prices for domestic travel outside Darfur are relatively cheaper.
Hassan demanded the Sudanese presidency intervene to reduce the fares from Khartoum to destination in Darfur. “Apply equality of the citizens of the same country, and take into account the difficult economic conditions experienced by the Darfuris because of the war.”