Domestic air traffic from tier 2 to metro more than between metros: Travel portals
Domestic air traffic has witnessed an increase as the Covid-19 positivity rate in the country continues to remain low. Travel portals have said that the domestic fliers from tier 2 cities travelling to the metros have led to the growth in air traffic as compared to fliers from metro cities.
According to the portals, there has been around 35% in the air traffic from tier 2 to metros.
Nishant Pitti, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of EaseMyTrip.com, said there has been a surge in air travel to smaller destinations post the second wave, as people want to reduce travel time and are ready to spend more money to travel on a direct flight to reach their destinations.
“Metro-metro and non-metro to metro travel are bouncing back. Bookings from cities like Varanasi, Darbhanga, Patna, Gorakhpur to metros have seen a jump of 30-35% in the last one month,” says Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and group CEO of ixigo.
Destinations such as Patna, Varanasi, and Srinagar are making up for most of the top 10 busiest routes in the country since May. “Even in December, when airlines could deploy 80% of their capacity, half of the top 10 routes were to tier-2 cities. For the period of January -June 2021, EaseMyTrip has observed that flight bookings to Delhi from tier 2 cities such as Srinagar and Patna were around 20% higher than the flights to Delhi from metros such as Mumbai and Bengaluru,” Pitti said.
With ease in Covid-19 related lockdown restrictions and a decline in cases, portals said this trend will sustain. A surge in last-minute bookings and an increase in average ticket size for popular destinations such as Mussoorie, Mount Abu, Shimla and the likes.
“In the aftermath of the second wave, we’ve observed a sharp upward trend in consumer’s preferences for smaller cities such as Lucknow, Patna, Noida, Jaipur, Kochi, Guwahati, Agra. OYO’s occupancy has improved significantly in July and August. Currently, we are seeing nearly 80% occupancy compared to pre-Covid wave 2 in February 2021. This showcases the country’s aspirations to explore domestic destinations closer to home since people are still wary about long-haul international air travel,” said Yatish Jain, vice president and chief growth officer, OYO INSEA.