Mumbai: Airfare prices skyrocket as festive rush kicks in

Mumbai: In a rather troubling news for the travel enthusiasts, airfares between Mumbai and other cities have seen a more than 80 per cent rise in September-October against the corresponding period last year, according to data from a travel booking website, riding on as the festive rush is kicking and increased operating costs for domestic carriers. According to data collected by ixigo, the average monthly fares on Mumbai-bound routes for the two months show at least an 80 per cent jump compared to the fares of the same period during the last year.

“Fares for the festive season (September-October) have skyrocketed by 50 per cent on an average. One of the most-impacted sectors is Mumbai. A Mumbai-Kolkata flight ticket that would otherwise cost say Rs 4,400 is touching Rs 7,000,” said Aloke Bajpai, CEO & co-founder, ixigo, reported The Indian Express.

This has been backed up by the numbers and data shows while the average monthly fare between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in September-October last year was Rs 2,292, it is Rs 4,511 this year, a 97 per cent hike. Average fares concerning the Bengaluru-Mumbai, Mumbai-Hyderabad, Delhi-Mumbai and Pune-Mumbai routes, which were Rs 2,905, Rs 2,439, Rs 2,923 and Rs 5,394 in September-October last year, rose to Rs 4,822, Rs 4,595, Rs 4,539 and Rs 9,922 respectively this year, a more than 50 per cent increase and it has adversely affected the pocket of the common man.

“This increase in fares can be attributed to two major factors — jet fuel prices, which have increased September onwards, and higher demand for flight tickets due to the festive season,” said Bajpai. “The continued festivities and recent weather disruption appear to be the key drivers for the high airfares to and from Mumbai. This trend is expected to continue for some time given the approaching high travel season during October-December,” said Abhishek Rajan, Vice President, Paytm.

The reason behind the sharp rise in fares has been attributed to the peak season rush and slot constraints at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport as the reasons. “The peak season for travel is around the festivals… Besides, Mumbai being the hub for the travel destination is a highly slot-constrained airport and there’s no room for capacity expansion on flights to and from the city. On the other hand, domestic air traffic continues to rise. Obviously, the impact is now visible,” said a spokesperson for Vistara. Fares between other metropolitan cities, Bengaluru-Hyderabad, Delhi-Jaipur and Srinagar-Delhi, have also seen a spike.

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