Tuesday, March 10, 2020

40% fall in South India airfares as coronavirus scare spreads

Hit hard by a dramatic dip in demand triggered by the coronavirus scare, domestic and international flight fares have dropped by almost 40% over the last 5-6 days.
The fall has been so sharp that flight charges from Bengaluru to other metros have gone even below 2-AC train fares. Travel agents said a Bengaluru-Mumbai economy flight ticket that cost around Rs 3,500 in midFebruary has dropped to Rs 2,000 for a flight on March 16.
GoAir, IndiGo and AirAsia oered the same fare. A 2-AC train ticket on this route was Rs 1,995.  Bengaluru-Delhi fares too have seen a drastic reduction. A Tuesday (March 10) flight ticket was available on Monday aernoon for about Rs 3,300, a considerable fall from Rs 5,800 a week ago. A 2-AC ticket on the Rajdhani was priced at Rs 5,200 on the same route.
 The trend is countrywide. An economy class air ticket from Chennai to Bengaluru for travel on Tuesday (March 10) was available for Rs 1,091, much less than Rs 1,455, the executive class fare on the Shatabdi Express.
 Flight tickets between Chennai and Bengaluru usually cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. Fares increase if tickets are booked on the same day or a day before the travel. Big crowds, a trademark of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) departure terminals, are thinning, a clear indication of the dip in travel demand. The airport operators said the real picture in terms of passenger numbers will be out in two days.
 10/03/20 Rasheed Kappan/Deccan Herald
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