Sunday, August 11, 2019

Diwali travel: Airfares expected to rise, book air tickets now

If you plan to fly out for a holiday or to meet family and friends in October during Diwali, then book your air tickets now because domestic airfares are currently flat in comparison to the 2018 festival season, as Jet Airways’ capacity has found its way back into the market.

Experts point out that fares beyond the 0-15 day window remain unchanged over last year, with low-cost carriers like SpiceJet and IndiGo quickly inducting aircraft into their fleets. As per travel portal Cleartrip, the average domestic fares outside the 0-15 day window remain flat on major routes.

“Our data shows that average airfares during the festival season are the same levels as last year. All the capacity occupied by Jet was back into the domestic market by July-end,” Balu Ramachandran, head, air & distribution, Cleartrip, pointed out.
Domestic airlines capacity, measured in terms of available seat kilometre, stood at 13.1 billion during June 2019 as compared to 12.7 billion exactly a year ago.

SpiceJet said it doesn’t expect significant rise in fares going into the next quarter. “India is a price sensitive market. What you can do with fares is limited . However, there is no risk of discounting. The danger of fares coming down as compared to last year is not there with removal of some capacity,” SpiceJet’s chief financial officer Kiran Koteshwar explained.

Analysts believe fares, which are witnessing a downward trend, could rise closer to the festival season. “We expect the fares to moderate further in FY20 though not to the lows of FY19 as grounded capacity of Jet Airways finds its way back in the system through SpiceJet and Vistara, and planned capacity addition by IndiGo,” brokerage firm Axis Capital noted.
11/08/19 Arun Nayal/Financial Express

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