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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Festivals cheer airlines despite airfare hike

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 16, 2013
First Published: 23:40 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 23:42 IST(16/10/2013)

Notwithstanding the massive increase in airfares last month, there has been a spike in air travel and bookings to festival destinations.

Airlines had hiked fares last month following an increase in prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF). On key routes, fares had been hiked by as much as 40%.

"With the festive season having already started, Yatra.com has seen a significant increase in the number of bookings compared with the last quarter for the top festive destinations like Kolkata for Durga puja, Mysore for Dussehra and Varanasi for Diwali," said Sharat Dhall, president of Yatra.com.

It's not just the festival destinations that have witnessed an increase in demand. Traffic on metro routes has gone up too. "With the holidays approaching, the air traffic in the metros has gone up by almost 12-13% despite the massive increase in air fares that have risen by 25-30% since the last quarter," Dhall said.

Rajji Rai, adviser to the Travel Agents Association of India, said the October-December quarter was traditionally considered the strongest for airlines. "We have already started getting bookings for destinations like Goa and Kerala. The Diwali-Christmas vacations are the time when airlines make money," Rai said.


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