Thursday, March 17, 2022

Demand for outbound travel spikes after govt announces regular international flights from March 27

The aviation and tour-planning industry is looking at its best year for outbound travel since the pandemic with Indians starting bookings for their favourite overseas destinations, although high fuel prices and vaccine-related curbs remain potential downside risks.

Airlines and travel agents ET reached out to said demand has seen a spike after the government announced resumption of regular international flights from March 27.

Air India and Vistara - the only two Indian airlines that operate to Europe and the Americas – said they are seeing a huge increase in demand.

“At Vistara, we are evaluating options and working on additional flights. We have already been observing good demand across our international network, especially on long-haul routes, and hope that the trend continues,” Vistara said in an email response to Et’s queries.

Air India said it anticipates ‘a good growth for leisure travel on mostly tourist routes in the coming holiday season, provided there is no threat of new variants.’

Travel industry insiders say that the demand is for both long-haul and short-haul international flights. “We are seeing a strong uptick of 20-40% in queries, with Europe’s Switzerland, France, Spain and the UK still heading the leader-board (40% increase), followed by short hauls like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Thailand, Maldives, Turkey, Egypt, Singapore (30%); and also also long-hauls like Australia (20%),” said Rajeev Kale, president & country head, holidays, MICE and Visa at Thomas Cook (India). 

17/03/22 Anumeha Chaturvedi & Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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