Airfares usually climb during festive seasons but a flurry of flash sales made air tickets considerably cheaper this month as compared to the same period in September, found a study that compared fare differences across 24 domestic routes. The report by travel portal Ixigo.com states that average airfare between October 1 and 15 was 18% cheaper than for the same period last month.
For instance, a Mumbai-Chennai economy class one-way fare in October was Rs3,281 as compared to Rs4,249 in September. Similarly, a Mumbai-Ahmedabad journey was 14% cheaper this month. The study added that flight bookings this month increased by 40%.
“Owing to the ongoing flash sale, we observed that most travellers booked flights for as far as the next 6 months. Airlines have offered fares as low as Rs835,” said Aloke Bajpai, chief executive officer and co-founder, Ixigo.com.
He added that October could see more than 10 million monthly fliers for the first time in India. As per to the study, more than 55 lakh flight bookings were already done till October 15. Several domestic airlines offered flash sales ahead of the festive season, with prices starting fares at par with sleeper class of long-distance train journeys. For instance, SpiceJet offered fares starting at Rs835, Indigo Rs834 and AirAsia Rs999. Even full service airlines such as Jet Airways slashed fares by 25 %, while Vistara offered premium economy class tickets at the price of budget seats. In addition, some travel portals offered cashback up to Rs600.
“There was a sporadic surge in holiday bookings up to next summer. A majority of the bookings seemed to be done on impulse, lured by flash sales,” said a Fort-based travel agent requesting anonymity.