Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Airfares rise 30-100% against pre-pandemic levels amid festive season: Thomas Cook

With a surge in domestic air passenger traffic, the airfares have risen by 30 % to 100 % of the pre-pandemic levels amid the festive season, a top Thomas Cook executive has said. The domestic air passenger traffic increased around 67 % year-on-year in October.

Thomas Cook, however, expects the airfares to be levelled off going forward, as the domestic carriers operate with 100 % capacity.

After domestic traffic nosedived in May at 19.20 lakh month-on-month due to the virulent second wave of the pandemic, the traffic gradually returned to the growth trajectory in the subsequent months, reaching around 88 lakh in the previous month, credit rating agency Icra had said earlier this month.

The growth was supported by the steep decline in COVID-19 infection cases, higher capacity deployment by the local carriers and festive season demand, among others.

Strong pent up demand is resulting in a strong uptick in domestic air travel, exacerbated by the limited reopening of international routes, said Indiver Rastogi, President & Group Head for global business travel at Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC.

India's festive season, typically, starts from October 1 and goes up to November 30 every year.

"Starting with the festive season, domestic airfares continue to witness a surge between 30 % and 100 % when compared with pre-pandemic levels," he said.

According to Rastogi, while a flight ticket to Andaman (Port Blair) from Ahmedabad spiked a steep 100 %, it was costing 50 % more from Delhi.

For travel from Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to the same destination, the ticket prices were up 30 %, he noted.

Goa being a favourite destination witnessed the flight ticket prices rising in the range of 10-30 % from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and 50 % from Ahmedabad, Rastogi said.

15/11/21 PTI/Economic Times

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