Forget flying cheap if you are still planning a vacation on Diwali — or even Christmas. The holiday rush began while you were sleeping and all domestic airlines have sold out their discount tickets till yearend. Only high-end tickets — not too many of them — are available.
“Almost all our flights are full for the season and we have finished all discount tickets. Now only about five to ten tickets are left on all flights,” said a senior official of Indian (now part of Air India).
About 1.5 lakh passengers will be flying on Diwali across the country, according to figures of various airlines. The hottest destinations this season are the usual suspects — Goa, Kerala and Kathmandu. “Apart from these, all flights to places like Bangkok and Thailand are booked,” said Rajji Rai, vice-president of the Travel Agents Association of India. “Even now, the load factor (seat occupancy) is as high as 80 per cent.”
A Jet Airways spokesman said: “There is heavy rush and therefore all airlines are selling full fare tickets because of the high demand.” A Kingfisher Airlines spokeswoman said there has been an increase in the number of passengers this year. “Tickets for all sectors are completely sold out and only higher end tickets are left,” she said.