COVID-19: Omicron scare pushes up international airfare from Tiruchy

The international sector is already reporting a heavy jump in ticket fare as Omicron has forced many countries to impose more regulations.

Published: 25th December 2021 12:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2021 01:02 PM   |  A+A-

Taxi drivers waiting for customers at Tiruchy international airport

Taxi drivers waiting for customers at Tiruchy international airport. (File photo| MK Ashok Kumar, EPS)

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Flight ticket rates would usually report a jump close to Christmas and New Year. However, the travel sector in the city is expecting a heavy hike in international airfare and domestic fare this year. Many of them opined that the holiday season and uncertainties created by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may result in a heavy jump in ticket fares.

"At present, we are not reporting heavy fare hikes for tickets to Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. There may be a hike of Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 due to Christmas and New Year. For instance, the ticket fare from Tiruchy to Chennai would come around Rs 2,500 to 3,500. Similarly, for Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the fare would come around Rs 4,000. But, if you are booking in the last minute, you might have to spend more money. However, if the State governments come up with more regulations, the domestic sector may report a heavy hike in ticket fare," said P Kumar, a travel agent in the city.

But, the international sector is already reporting a heavy jump in ticket fare as Omicron has forced many countries to impose more regulations.

"In the case of Singapore, you would have to spend about Rs 40,000 or more for one side. Apart from that, you would also have to spend more money for hotel quarantine. For Malaysia, the ticket fare for one side would come between Rs 30,000 to 40,000. But, you can opt for home quarantine in Malaysia. However, the Malaysian government would inspect the home facility of your relative or friends to ensure that the home quarantine is safe," said Kalidasan, a major travel agent in the city.

"Otherwise, you would have to pay for quarantine in a hotel. In the West Asian sector, the ticket rate for one side was Rs 15,000 to 20,000 last month. Now, the fare would come between Rs 30,000 and 40,000. The international sector is reporting such a heavy hike due to regulation and decreasing flight operations. Apart from this, there is also a panic among people about a third wave and lockdown. Therefore, many NRIs are cancelling their plan to stay for a long time in their home state and booking international flights to reach abroad before the imposition of tighter regulations," he added.

Many travel agents opined that the ticket hike in the international sector may come down only if there is some relaxation. "Before COVID, we used to have about 6 or 7 flights to Singapore per day. Now, only Air India Express is operating to Singapore. In fact, before the pandemic, we used to spend only Rs 10,000 for flights to Singapore as we were having so many flights. Now, Sri Lanka is the only international destination that you can travel to by spending Rs 10,000 to 15,000 from Tiruchy. So, we can expect a drop only if we resume more operations," said B Ramesh, another travel agent.

(All the ticket fares mentioned are subject to change)



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