Holiday airfares skyrocket

Sunitha Sekar
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The prices for the next two months have been hiked by nearly 30 per cent

If you plan on celebrating Dusshera at Kolkata later this month and haven’t booked your ticket as yet, you may end up spending around Rs. 10,000 on just the one-way trip.

For the next two months, flying short-haul flights may burn passengers’ pockets. Fares for flights during the period, which is punctuated by many holidays, have been hiked by nearly 30 percent, say industry sources. This may be attributed to challenging economic conditions and increasing jet fuel prices, say sources.

“The fall in rupee and the constantly increasing jet fuel price, along with the heavy VAT slapped on it, are the major reasons why we are faced with a nearly 30 percent increase in fares right now. We hope they will come down early next year,” said an official of SpiceJet.

Delhi and Mumbai seem to be the most highly priced and sought-after destinations for the next two months, said S. Baskar of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI). “The demand continues to be high while the supply has not increased so much. Moreover, we should have some kind of regulation on the airfares which is not there at present. The only option we have now is to book much ahead of the day of travel,” he said.

The withdrawal of Kingfisher flights from the market has kept the demand constantly higher than the supply, said officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI).

In addition to Mumbai and Delhi, Goa also has a lot of takers from Chennai since the air connectivity between the places has improved, said another travel agent. “Earlier, we never had direct flights from Chennai to Goa, but now we have a couple of non-stop flights from Chennai to Goa which saves travel time for passengers,” he said.



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