Friday, December 29, 2017

Pongal rush pushes air fare up three times

Chennai: Those who planned a last-minute vacation for New Year and Pongal are paying through the nose. With trains running full, air ticket prices have gone up considerably to popular destinations such as Port Blair, Madurai, Trichy, Kochi and Tuticorin.

Government employees have for four closed days for the harvest festival that begins on January 12. One-way fare to Port Blair, one of the most popular destinations of these people during the season, has crossed Rs11,000. For the other short flights, tickets cost between Rs3,500 and Rs5000. Airlines sources said fares are bound to increase. There is demand for travel to southern towns. A one-way ticket to Madurai is priced in the range of Rs3,159 to Rs10,000 as against the usual weekday fare of Rs1,200 to Rs3000.
Basheer Ahmed of Metro Travels said, "The festive rush has pushed up air fares. The lower fare slab gets booked fast, leading to an increase. The fare in the bottom range like Rs1,500 to 2,000 are either over or only one or two seats are left at that price. This is a seasonal trend. Air fare is cheaper for the weekend before Pongal and also after Pongal."
As Pongal holidays fall on an extended weekend (the festival begins on Friday and ends on Monday) several people travel home to southern districts to visit friends and relatives and also for a short leisure getaway. Traffic from Chennai to southern towns is high because several people have migrated to Chennai for work and education. This pushes up the fare during Diwali and Pongal every year.
29/12/17 Times of India