Sunday, June 21, 2020

1-2% air tickets sold are for return from Mumbai: Travel sites

Mumbai: In the first three weeks since domestic aviation resumed on May 25, only 1-2% of domestic air tickets sold on online travel portals for journeys till mid-July were return tickets. In the pre-Covid-19 days, the share of return tickets ranged between 25% and 30%.

Still, 1% is a marked improvement over the 0.2% share return tickets had in the first week of domestic flights after resumption, an indicator that the domestic air travel market is limping back to normalcy from the setback of the Covid-19 lockdown.

From 30,000 passengers on May 25, the first day of resumption of domestic flights, to 67,000 on Saturday, intra-country passenger traffic is on the recovery path, though it traces a peculiar path. For instance, apart from Delhi, peak domestic demand currently is for travel to cities like Patna, Lucknow, Varanasi and Kolkata and not to the metros, shows data from airports, travel companies and the civil aviation ministry.

“Since domestic flights’ resumption, 99% of our total bookings have been for one-way travel,” travel app Ixigo said.

Ixigo studied data for tickets booked between May 25 and June 14 for travel up to July 14.

The top three routes for one-way travel were all from Delhi to Varanasi, Patna and Srinagar. The top three for return bookings were Delhi-Patna, Delhi-Varanasi and Mumbai-Varanasi.

The popular Delhi-Mumbai route, the third busiest domestic air route in the world last year, came in at number four, showed the Ixigo data.

Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) and Bengaluru International airport data put Delhi as the top destination, which is not surprising given that it is the busiest airport in the country.
21/06/20 Manju V/Times of India
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