Finally there’s some good news for air passengers. Airfares for flights out of Mumbai to domestic destinations between June and September dipped this year compared to the same period last year.
The finding was part of study done by American Express Business Travel, a travel consultancy firm, comparing one-way airfares across airlines from June and September.
Economy class fares on the Mumbai-Delhi route, the country’s busiest air corridor, dropped significantly by 27.68 %, states the report. Even business class air tickets on the sector were cheaper by close to 10% this year.
Similarly, economy class fares on the Mumbai-Bangalore route, another busy metro route fell, by 9.38 % in the period.
According to aviation experts, the dip in airfares is largely due to airlines increasing the number of flights operating from Mumbai. “Flights on some routes have gone up by 20% while the passenger load is the same,” said Ankur Bhatia, executive director, Bird Group, an aviation consultancy firm. Experts added that that general slowdown in the economy has also contributed to making air travel cheaper.
The trend has been common even on routes connecting metros and small cities, stated the analysis. “Economy class tickets between Mumbai and Ahmedabad have become cheaper by 13.57%. Fares between the city and Jaipur also declined by 19.07%,” said Sandeep Shastri, vice-president and general manager, global business travel, American Express India.
Air travel to nearby foreign cities, however, has become expensive, the report found. While air fare for travel to Singapore from Mumbai went up by 15.61% for economy class passengers, flights to Kuala Lumpur from the city were 6.41% more expensive. But experts added that airfares to these foreign cities have dropped for those travelling next month because more domestic carriers have begun international operations.
Return fares from Mumbai to Dubai, Singapore or Bangkok are priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 13000 during the Diwali break in the last week of October. Last December, the civil aviation ministry had formed a committee comprising fliers, travel agents and airline CEOs to bring transparency in airfares following a national protest against a massive hike in fares across domestic routes.