Air fares shoot through the roof for Christmas, New Year – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: Travelling to holiday destinations for X’mas or New Year will cost you a bomb as airfares from the city to favourite getaways have shot through the roof.
Ticket prices to Madurai, Coimbatore, Tuticorin, Kochi, Goa and Mangaluru are above 10,000 for travel this Saturday for Christmas while the fare is more than 8,000 to most of these destinations for travel on December 30.
The fare to Madurai is 11,000, 8,000-16,000 to Coimbatore, 12,000-14,000 to Tuticorin, 16,000- 18,000 to Kochi, 11,500-19,000 to Goa, 7,000 – 10,000 to Mumbai and 9,400 – 21,000 to Delhi for travel on Saturday for Christmas.
The fares for the New Year weekend are already high and are most likely to exceed 10,000 soon. Fares begin at 5,000 to 7,000 to most of these destinations.
Travel and tour operators told TOI that though it’s not an extended weekend, many people are going on a holiday to select destinations that fit their budget.
The increase in fare, however, inconveniences people who plan their travel at the last minute and also those who switch to flights as all trains are full. In the absence of a regulatory body to manage fares, airlines have kept the fare slab high to make most of the demand.
Sriharan Balan of Madura Travels said, “Increasing airfare is a trend in every festival season. People book in advance, select a destination based on their budget. This year, people either do not seem to be midnful of the cost or are choosing destinations according to affordability.” According to him, Sri Lanka is registering a decent demand because airfares are competitive and are almost the same as domestic fares in India. “People are choosing Sri Lanka instead of trying for a domestic holiday,” he added.
“It has become difficult to plan a holiday a few days in advance. The fares are higher this year because there are fewer flights compared to pre-Covid days and many airlines are using less manpower. Supply is less but demand from passengers is high after Covid cases have subsided.”
Travel operators say that airfares in general have increased by 40-50% when compared to pre-Covid days.
Mohan Chandramouli, a retired airlines officer, said “There should be a sealing of the maximum fare. Fare has been deregulated now. The airlines are free to fix it.”
Gaurav Patwari, VP – Air Category, Cleartrip, said, “After two years of muted celebrations, Christmas-New Year week will be a period when demand for travel will rise to unprecedented levels. The rise in airfares is a result and of heightened demand, high fuel prices and a lower number of operating flights compared to pre-Covid figures. However, considering the current booking trends, the spike has not impacted customer sentiment.