CHENNAI: There is cheer for those looking to travel by air for vacations this summer. Air travel fares are down 4%-9% for domestic flights. Travel aggregators such as Yatra, Cleartrip and Ixigo show that even with demand increasing by 20%, fares are quoting lower than last year.
Figures from Yatra.com show that there is on a 5% drop in air fares compared to the same period last year, except in the Delhi-Mumbai sector, which are seeing a 12% rise. Data from travel portal Ixigo shows that from April to June, average domestic fares have dropped by around 9% this year compared to last year while international fares have dropped by around 19% on an average this year.
“There is addition of capacity in airlines, along with competition, that has reduced rates. Plus, oil prices are more or less stable, keeping input costs lower,” said Sharat Dhall, COO, B2C, Yatra.com.
“However, flights between Mumbai and Delhi continue to be expensive because of the runway shut down,” he said. Airfares have not risen in the last two years, Dhall stated. Tapping into the demand, airlines are also offering discounts.
Players including Spice-Jet, GoAir and AirAsia India are offering airfares under ₹1,600 and announced deals for potential flyers. Popular destinations include Nagpur, Chennai, Guwahati, Imphal , Pune and Bhubhaneshwar.
“Apart from this being the peak time to book flights for the summer, this dip can be attributed to the intense competition among airlines, ongoing discount sales by airlines, OTAs (online travel aggregators) and travel aggregators,” said Aloke Bajpai, co-founder, Ixigo. Early bird bookings are also available with an additional 20% discount, says travel operator Goomo. “For those looking to travel in mid-May, the discounts would be deeper,” said Jayatri DasGupta, Head – B2C business, Goomo.
“With discounts, airlines are looking to tap into the demand, which is 20% higher this year owing to two long weekends coupled with summer vacations. This attracts families with children as well as millennials who look to travel this season,” Jayanti said.