Thursday, May 02, 2019

Air fares to Chennai soar on rising demand, Jet trouble

Madurai: There was a time when people from the city planning to travel to Chennai gave a thought to choosing between cozy private buses and air travel, thanks to the competitive fares offered by flight operators. The difference between the two used to be about Rs 800 a year ago, as the starting price of air tickets for Chennai ranged between Rs 1,600 and Rs 1,800. Now the minimum ticket cost has gone up to Rs 2,800.
Increasing demand for air travel in summer and grounding of Jet Airways aircraft are the reasons behind the increase in air fares. At present, a one-way air fare to Chennai ranges between Rs 2,800 and Rs 5,300. Madurai is connected to various cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Rajahmundry. Although the rise in ticket fares has been felt across all domestic sectors, it is claimed to be not as steep as in the Madurai-Chennai route, say airline officials.
“There is no chance of the air fares coming down in the weeks to come. It will dip only when more services are introduced. There are chances for more services only when round-the-clock operations kick in at Madurai airport,” said an official of a leading airline. Tour operators from the city say that Madurai-Chennai is one of the best revenue-yielding sectors in the country. However, for strange reasons the number of flights connecting the two cities had not grown in proportion. Although some of the slots left behind by Jet Airways were now filled in by Indigo, the number of flights connecting the two cities was still fewer compared to last year.

BSG Mustafa of Meraj Travels in the city said the number of daily flights connecting Madurai and Chennai had come down from 11 to just seven at present.
02/05/19 Times of India