Thursday, December 16, 2021

Airfares from Pune fly low in run-up to New Year

Pune: Airfares during Christmas and New Year’s Eve from the city to popular tourist destinations are unusually low this year compared to 2020 and 2019.

Travel companies claimed that the sudden Omicron scare has put on hold travel plans of many. However, those associated with tourism also believe that the fares for New Year would rise because there is a section of people eager to travel but has decided to wait until the last moment to book the tickets.

If one looks at the fares (see graphics), the prices from Pune to Goa, Delhi, Jaipur and Srinagar for December 30, is 40% to 60% lesser compared to the fares in 2019 when the pandemic was unheard of.

“Not just 2019, the fares are even lesser by around 25% compared to 2020. Travelling was in its peak between October 2020 and January 2021 before the second wave hit India. This year, too, travelling has been decent since August but it dipped suddenly from early December because of the new variant,” a city-based travel company representative said.

A glaring example is a one-way fare to Goa this year, which is somewhere between Rs 4,000 and Rs 4,600 during Christmas and New Year’s eve. “It is unusual considering Goa is a tourist hotspot during this time of the year. I remember paying Rs 15,600 one-way fare from Pune to Goa in 2019. After seeing the current price trend, I am tempted to book tickets immediately but my family has asked me to wait,” said Saransh Khairnar, a resident of Balewadi and a working professional.

16/12/21 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

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