Average airfares this December are the cheapest compared to the corresponding period for the past many years, thanks to airlines adding capacity and a sharp fall in fuel prices.
The October-December quarter, which coincides with the festive season starting with Durga Puja and ending with the Christmas-New Year break, is considered to be the peak travel season when ticket prices and load factors are the highest.
A sharp dip in fuel prices has, however, meant that ticket prices this December are considerably lower than past years.
An analysis by travel portal Yatra.com has revealed that prices on almost all top sectors are the lowest this year. On an average, a Delhi-Mumbai air ticket this month costs Rs 4,984 compared to Rs 7,000 last December and Rs 9,502 in December 2013. Similarly, a Delhi-Bangalore ticket costs Rs 6,204 compared to Rs 8,001 last year and Rs 10,084 in 2013 (see graphic).
“The fares for December are definitely at their lowest as compared to the previous years. One of the main reasons is of ATF (aviation turbine fuel or jet fuel) decreasing drastically which has been a big relief to airlines. The second factor that has been driving down fares is that capacity has increased,” said Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra.com.
“Capacity addition by new startups like Vistara and aggressive expansion by IndiGo have resulted in significant addition in capacity,” said Subhash Goyal, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators. “Lower fares and repeated flash sales made the fare difference between travel by train and air negligible.”
Air passenger traffic grew 19.96% during January-October 2015 compared to a year ago, with airlines carrying 66 million passengers against 55 million last year.