Surging air fares set to dampen holiday plans

The fares are likely to come back to normal after 20-25 days from now.

Published: 15th March 2019 04:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2019 11:08 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Even as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation directed the airlines on Wednesday not to raise fares in the wake of the grounding of 12 SpiceJet Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and operational issues faced by other airlines, spot fares on Thursday remained at a very high level.

Data provided by travel portal Yatra showed that spot ticket prices on Mumbai-Chennai routes have increased to `20,329 for March 14. The spot fare for the same route on March 14 last year was `5,671. Similarly, spot fares at other busy routes such as Delhi-Mumbai (`14,420), Delhi-Chennai (`12,560), Delhi-Kolkata (`20,999) across various other travel portals too remained high on Thursday.

Weekend fares and fares around Holi appear to be at 15-25 per cent more expensive than normal now.
“Before the disruption, passengers had booked tickets around Holi at `3,000-4,000 level across major routes. Now with many getting total refunds instead of another flight in case of cancellation, they will have to pay more than double, and in some cases, four to five times more, to book a new flight for the same route,” said spokesperson of a leading travel portal, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways on Wednesday withdrew five more aircraft from service, owing to non-payment of lease rentals,  taking the total tally to 32. IndiGo, on the other hand, is cancelling dozens of its flights over shortage of pilots everyday. Air India, which already has grounded around a dozen aircrafts over maintenance issues, announced suspending its flights on Delhi-Madrid and Delhi-Birmingham routes from March 16 till further notice due to operational reasons. The move is likely to make European tours expensive.

Aditya Chawla, head (operations), EaseMyTrip.com, said, “Ticket prices have gone up by 25-45 per cent post the grounding of SpiceJet’s aircraft, with cancellation rate increasing by 10-15 per cent. The fares are likely to come back to normal after 20-25 days from now.”

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