Planning to go out of station for the Diwali holidays? You may end up spending three times more than usual on your airfare.
According to tour operators, airfares on busy metro routes during the Diwali week, starting November 12, have increased three-fold.
“The lowest one-way fare for economy class between Mumbai and Delhi on Tuesday was Rs 12,000,” said Anup Kanuga, owner of Bathija Travels.
Airlines divide economy class seats in 10 to 12 price bands. Normally, a person booking tickets more than a month in advance gets a good deal because he gets the cheapest price band.
Industry experts said the on-going crisis in Kingfisher could be one of the main factors behind the fare hike. “A similar trend was witnessed earlier this year. About 18% domestic fliers in India that flew Kingfisher till last year are now jostling for space on other carriers,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Agents said increase in airfares during vacations was common, but this hike was abnormal. “I can’t see any reason behind a three-fold increase in fares. At this rate, many families may have to cancel their plans,” said Iqbal Mulla, president, Travel Agents Association of India.