Monday, December 28, 2020

Mumbai-Dubai, Delhi-Dubai now among busiest international routes

Mumbai: Mumbai-Dubai and Delhi-Dubai have now emerged among the busiest international routes in the pandemic world. According to the UK-based air consultancy firm OAG, Delhi-Dubai is the fifth and Mumbai-Dubai 10th busiest air route this month in terms of seat capacity deployment by airlines operating on various routes.

The busiest international route is Dubai-London Heathrow (1.7 lakh seats) followed by Orlando-San Juan (1.6 lakh seats) and Cairo-Jeddah (1.4 lakh). Delhi-Dubai has 1.1 lakh and Mumbai-Dubai over a lakh seats this month, according to OAG.

While scheduled international flights remain suspended, foreign travel by eligible categories of people is currently happening to and from countries with which India has created air bubbles and on Vande Bharat Mission flights.

Domestic air traffic, on the other hand, is reviving steadily albeit with the pandemic leading to new travel trends. Christmas saw a higher number of domestic flyers at over 2.5 lakh, since scheduled flights within the country were allowed to resume on May 25.

In a statement, online travel firm Cleartrip said: "The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has resulted in travellers preferring to book their travel close to the travel date. In (pre-pandemic) January-March, 51% of the trips were booked within two weeks of the travel date. However, trips booked within two weeks before travel increased to about 81% in April-September. We have seen this trend reverse to an extent in Q4 (67%)."

Similarly, in January-March, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Kolkata and Hyderabad as the top booked cities by travellers from Delhi. The lockdown months of April-June saw Patna at the top spot followed by Kolkata, Srinagar, Ranchi and Bengaluru. This trend was due to people returning to their home cities once domestic air travel was allowed to resume, Cleartrip data shows.In July-September, the top five cities booked to travel to from Delhi were: Mumbai, Patna, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata. And in October-December, the five cities were: Mumbai, Goa, Bengaluru, Patna and Kolkata.

28/12/20 Times of India

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