Fuel cost, falling rupee hike airfares

Fuel cost, falling rupee hike airfares

Airfares have nearly doubled in the last two months, causing a strain on the wallets of flyers in the country during the festival season.

According to industry sources, domestic fares have more than doubled in some sectors compared to August, while the hike will be about 18-20 per cent more than last October.
Passenger load in airlines usually picks up in October after a lull between June and September. Owing to the festival season, passenger numbers surge during this month irrespective of the increase in air fare.

 “The recent economic situation has been a major contributor to the rise in airfares. Airlines are now under pressure to break even with the increase in operational costs,” said Sharat Dhall, President of travel website Yatra.com.

While a one-way flight from Delhi to Mumbai would have cost Rs 8,531 to Rs 9,813 last October depending on low cost or full service flights like Air India or Jet Airways, the same carriers were charging Rs 10,098 to Rs 10,624 this year.

However, passengers who may have paid between Rs 4,708 and Rs 5,062 in August for a Delhi-Mumbai flight, will have to cough up Rs 10,000 now. This is a hike of 114 per cent.

Similarly, Delhi-Chennai fares have gone up 20 per cent year on year, while the October fares are 114-119 per cent higher than in August.

The Delhi-Bangalore sector saw a comparatively moderate increase of 75 per cent between August and October, though jumping 20 per cent year on year. Fares in this sector were Rs 9,235 to Rs 9,498 last year, whereas it is Rs 11,147 to Rs 11,453 now.

Tickets in the sector were costing Rs 6,381 to Rs 6,693 in August.

Airline sources said there is very little difference between fares in September and October. All airlines reduced fares prior to September, resulting in significant increase in pre-bookings. However, fares in September jumped 25-30 per cent due to hike in ATF prices and depreciation in the rupee’s value.

“This impacted heavily the number of bookings for the festival season which starts in October. However, we are witnessing a reasonable increase in bookings despite the fare hike,” Dhall said.

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