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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Mumbai: airfares for metro routes have risen 91% in 2 months

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 12, 2013
First Published: 09:29 IST(12/9/2013) | Last Updated: 15:43 IST(12/9/2013)

Air travellers on domestic metro routes will have to spend 91% more than what they were paying for a ticket until two months ago.

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The average fare for a one-way economy class ticket on metro routes — flights connecting Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata — bought within six days before the date of travel was Rs4,187 in July.

A similar ticket was priced at Rs7,978 on Wednesday, according to travel portal MakeMyTrip.com.

Even on non-metro sectors the fares have increased by 66%.

“We are experiencing several enquiries, as many people are trying to book in advance to get better fares. But, the queries-tobooking conversion has gone down nearly 15% in the first week of September,” said Rajesh Magow, co-founder and CEO of MakeMyTrip.com.

The spot airfare hike last week has also had a cascading effect on bookings made a month from now.

Fares on domestic metro routes for travel in October almost doubled owing to the rush to book tickets after the fare hike, said travel operators.

For instance, until August 28, a Mumbai-Delhi one-way economy class ticket in the first week of October was available for Rs3,509 The price rose to Rs6,162 within a span of nine days, according to travel portal Expedia.

“In apprehension of the air fares going up, we have seen a 15% increase in bookings, especially for the festival season,” said Vikram Malhi, general manager, South and Southeast Asia, Expedia.

According to analysts, people who failed to cash in on discounted tickets were the worst hit as domes tic carriers had exhausted cheap tickets in their inventory.

“Air tick ets are normally divided in 10 to 12 price bands. Majority of low price band tickets are sold out,” said a an official of a private airline.


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