Air travel from Chandigarh likely to get 25% costlier: Here’s why
As per the travel agents, the Chandigarh-Mumbai fare that was Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000, or even cheaper in lean days, has gone up to Rs 5,000.punjab Updated: Oct 03, 2017 17:58 IST
Air travel from Chandigarh is set to become costlier. With 11 of 38 flights grounded at the Chandigarh International Airport to carry out runway repairs from Tuesday, the air connectivity has been affected in most of the sectors operating from here.
For instance, the number of flights between the city and Delhi has gone from 16 to 11 while Mumbai flights — which always have huge occupancy — has gone from eight to six.
Travel agents said the Chandigarh-Mumbai fare that was Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000, or even cheaper in lean days, has gone up to Rs 5,000
Amit Raina, who looks after sales in private airlines here, said while he does not see much fare hike on the Chandigarh-Delhi route as there are a lot of alternative options available, the limited number of flights in other sectors, especially Mumbai and Hyderabad, will definitely affect the pricing because of limited seats and high demand.
Travel agents said the Chandigarh-Mumbai fare that was Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000, or even cheaper in lean days, has gone up to Rs 5,000.
Vineet Sharma, a local travel agent, said that ex-Chandigarh airfare may go up by 20-25%, which is already visible in future bookings. Last month, one-way journey to Jaipur cost Rs 3,000-Rs3,500, which has gone up to Rs 4,800 this month.
Reason: Earlier, there were two flights to Jaipur with the total seating capacity of 150. With the cancellation of one flight, the number of seats available have gone down to 70.
In winter season, when tourism in Rajasthan is at its peak, rates will further go up, said Sharma, adding that airfare to the Information Technology (IT) hubs of Bengaluru and Hyderabad will also go up due to the industry’s presence in the tricity. In fact, the airfare to Bengaluru has already crossed Rs 5,000, a hike of 15-20% since the last month.
A local airline official, not wishing to be named, said the increase in jet fuel prices will also impact airfares. He said aviation fuel is 6% costlier after the Sunday’s price revision. “Airlines will have to definitely rework on their basic fare due to the increase in input cost,” he said.
Growth story hit
According to the Airport Authority of India (AAI)’s survey, the city airport’s traffic has grown exponentially from mere 1 lakh passengers in 2006 to 18 lakh in 2017. It prompted the airlines to spread their network. But the runway repairs that may take up to 18 months are set to put brakes on the airport’s growth story, for now.
In the new schedule, the watch hours have been curtailed to 10pm to 4pm. Also, there will no operations on Sundays till at least March 31 next year.
Sources said the Indian Air Force (IAF) that manages the air traffic control and has initiated the runway repairs could also close the airport for at least one month on two different occasions. The dates are not specified yet.