Sunday, June 04, 2023

Soaring Airfare Leaves Vacationers Grounded

Private airlines are raising ticket prices up to threefold in the wake of the government lifting Covid-19 restrictions on airfare caps, coupled with the recent suspension of budget airline Go First. These sudden cost hikes coincide with the end of summer vacation, stranding tourists and inflating return ticket prices, especially for flights departing from North India.

Airline companies took advantage of the summer vacation season by significantly increasing fares, with tourist hotspots such as Srinagar, Shimla, Kullu Manali, Dalhousie, Amritsar, and Chandigarh in North India, as well as Bengaluru, Kochi and Chennai in South India, witnessing a sharp surge in ticket prices.

Anuj Pathak, president of the Tour Operator and Travel Agent Association of Gujarat (TAG), said, “The removal of the price cap on airfares led to a doubling and even tripling of costs. This has impacted even busier sectors like Srinagar, Shimla, Bagdogra, Amritsar and Chandigarh, where we are now seeing double the prices for return air tickets.”

Pathak added, “The suspension of low-cost carrier Go First during the summer vacation resulted in most passenger traffic diverting to other airlines, who subsequently hiked their prices. “

One week ago, the cost of a return air ticket for sectors such as Delhi-Ahmedabad, Bagdogra-Ahmedabad, Chandigarh-Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad-Amritsar-Ahmedabad ranged from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000. Now, prices for these same evening flights, which typically see a high frequency of travellers, have soared to between Rs 13,000 and Rs 15,000.

04/06/2023 Vipul Rajput/Ahmedabad Mirror

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