Planning a trip abroad this summer holiday? Be prepared to pay more for your flight tickets.
Over the last few days, many airlines have quietly hiked fares — from as low as three per cent to 50 per cent. Aviation and travel experts attribute the hike to demand-supply mismatch as well as the Icelandic volcanic eruptions, which disrupted air travel to Europe and North America for close to a week last month, costing the airline industry millions of dollars.
“Qatar Airways has hiked its Delhi-London-Delhi economy fare from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 from May,” said Rajji Rai, president, Travel Agents Association of India. That’s a 40 per cent increase.
Passenger traffic increases by an average 25-30 per cent during the holiday season, said Bhavna Aggarwal, vice-president of travel portal Yatra.com. On certain routes, the increase is as much as 40 per cent.
“There is enough demand this year (to travel abroad) unlike last year when people cut down on travelling because of recession,” she said.
“Airlines also suffered unimaginable losses because of the (volcanic) disruptions. But the only guy who ultimately suffers is the common man, as the airlines have to cover their losses one way or the other. The hike was anticipated,” Rai said.