Friday, March 15, 2019

Airfares soar over 100% as airlines cancel flights after 737 MAX grounding

New Delhi/Mumbai: Air passengers face the grim prospects of high air fares and fewer flight choices as several airlines cancel operations due to a number of reasons including the grounding of 737-MAX aircraft.
According to industry insiders, some sectors have shown a rise of more than 100 per cent in last minute bookings.
"With an unprecedented number of planes now grounded due to various factors, reduction in seat capacity has led to an increase in fares overnight. Last minute airfares on Wednesday increased to more than 100 per cent on some key routes like Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai-Kolkata and Mumbai-Bengaluru as compared to same time last year," said Aloke Bajapi, CEO and Co-founder, ixigo.
"Spot fares for Mumbai-Chennai are touching Rs 26,073 as opposed to Rs 5,369 the same time last year. High airfare patterns are expected to continue in the short term with Holi and summer school holidays round the corner, resulting in an increased demand."
Operations of airlines like SpiceJet and Jet Airways have been hit due to the government's Wednesday decision to join a global grounding of 737-MAX aircraft following a crash in Ethiopia.
In India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate 17 Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft - Spice (12) and Jet (5). A part of Jet fleet has already been grounded due to other reasons.
The grounding led SpiceJet to cancel 14 flights on Wednesday. This number is expected to touch 32 on Thursday.
Apart from SpiceJet, Jet Airways, which faces financial challenges, has already grounded four more aircraft over non-repayment of dues to lessors, taking the total to 32.
14/03/19 IANS/Econoimic Times

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