THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Holidayers who are planning to make a trip to exotic locations outside the country or within the country during summer vacation will have to shell out more as there will be around 20 to 25 per cent airfare hike on domestic and international routes.
The travel industry in Kerala is expecting a 20 to 25 per cent airfare hike in the coming vacation, especially on domestic and international routes connecting GCC countries as a result of the ban on Boeing Max aircraft, coupled with the grounding of Jet Airways planes and the cancellation of flights of Indigo due to pilot shortage.
Babu Paul, head of Speedwing Tours, said the remaining two weeks in the month of March will relatively be calm. But the travel industry will see a significant rise in airfares from April, chiefly on the domestic and international routes connecting various destinations in the GCC countries.
The traffic will normally see a jump with the vacation period starting by the first week of April and the airfares would generally see a marginal rise in this period. But this time, the airfare will be further going north owing to the uncertainties in the sector, he said.Sources close to Air India Express (AIE) confirmed airfares will relatively go up this vacation season due to the grounding of flights. Air India Express is not hit by the ban on Boeing Max as all the 25 aircraft of the airline are Boeing 737-800NG.
Airfare hike to affect domestic routes more
SpiceJet has 12 operational Boeing Max aircraft and Jet Airways has five Boeing Maxs, although they have not been operational from before the ban due to other reasons. Further, Fly Dubai has Max aircraft. So grounding of these aircraft will result in the demand going up during vacation and the fares will be increased in proportion to the demand, he said.
However, the airfare rise will be more severe on the domestic routes as the bulk of the grounded aircraft from the state is operational on domestic routes. For the airlines, the month of February and March are considered lean season and the traffic would pick up by April first week, which will die down slowly by the end of April, and it will again gain momentum by the end of May in tune with the movement of holidayers. But if the grounding of aircraft continues for a prolonged period, for instance in July, August, September, the airfares would hit an all-time high.
Ready for take-off
20-25 pc rise in air fares expected to and from Kerala this vacation period
SpiceJet has 12 operational Boeing Max aircraft and Jet Airways has five Boeing MAXs