If you are planning to fly from Indore for a holiday this Christmas, be prepared to spend more for spot fares. While the prices of jet fuel have fallen, airfares have been moving up on the domestic circuit because of demand-supply gap, say travel agents.
A look at the airfares for December 8 for Indore-Delhi route on Jet Airways reveals that minimum one-way fare is now Rs 9,900 for bookings made a day in advance. The minimum one-way fare for Indore-Mumbai morning flight for December 8 has shot up to Rs 19,950. The spot fare for these routes will be much higher and fluctuate on a daily basis depending on the availability of the seats.
"The airlines are looking to offset the losses from discounted airfares during the off season. Intense competition had forced many airlines to offer steep discounts for bookings made months in advance. Also, cancellation of flights by SpiceJet is having an impact on demand-supply equation," travel agent Dilip Ramani said.
In August and September, the airlines were offering special discounts because of off season and increasing competition. The fares then started moving up during Diwali.
SpiceJet, which is struggling to stay afloat, has begun reducing its Boeing 737 fleet, most of which was used on domestic routes.
With flyers reluctant to book seats on SpiceJet, other players are witnessing additional demand, thereby pushing up their fares further. The result is that fares are up despite more than 20% fall in jet fuel prices from this January to December.
The problem of high spot fares can also be traced back to SpiceJet which earlier this year rolled out highly discounted advance booking tickets to raise working capital. All other airlines were also forced to do the same. As a result, most of the inventory for this winter travel season is already sold out and the remaining seats are going at higher levels.
The fares for bookings made days in advance are also higher as compared to 2013. The one-way fare for Indore-Delhi for December 24 starts at Rs 5,000, as compared to Rs 4,500 in 2013. Travel agents expect the spot fares to rise further as Christmas and New Year holiday season approaches.