If you are planning to visit Goa, Kerala or Bangkok to celebrate New Year, book your air tickets now.
Airfares for popular destinations during the Christmas and New Year weekend have already more than doubled and flights to Goa and Cochin (Kerala) are almost packed. In fact, for the same amount of money you can visit Bangkok, Singapore or Dubai and that's what many Delhiites are doing.
"We see a huge rush every New Year but this time more people are opting for tourist destinations in southeast Asia as flights to domestic hotspots are already packed," said a senior Air India official, who didn't wish to be named.
"Prices have gone up because there is rising demand and lack of availability of seats in the domestic sector. That is why flying to Bangkok, Dubai or Singapore is easier," he said. "There is so much traffic towards Dubai that we had started two flights recently," he said.
Though there are still three weeks to go for the Christmas-New Year weekend, there are almost no affordable air tickets available. Also, due to the demand airlines keep lesser number of seats in the lower buckets and more in the high end ones.
"Airfares for destinations like Goa are already touching Rs. 25,000 and by mid-December, tickets wouldn't be available for less than Rs. 40,000," said Rajji Rai of the Travel Agents Association of India.
"Nearly 98% of air tickets to Goa for the New Year weekend are already sold out," said Pratik Mazumdar, marketing head of travel portal Yatra.com.
"Prices are high because capacity in the domestic sector is low. People are opting for short haul international destinations as the cost is similar or even little less than going to Goa or Kerala," he said.