As per data provided by a travel portal yatra.com, flight ticket prices were higher by 10% to 60% as compared to the last year during same period of time. For example, a Delhi to Bengaluru flight booked 30 days before travel cost ₹7,021, which is 42.3% higher than the airfare of ₹4,931 available last year for the same booking period.
A professional at private company, Amit Patel sat down to book a flight from Bhopal to Delhi for a business trip, he had to postpone his travel for four days because of the air fare for the 90-minute flight were five times higher than the usual price and he finally ended up buying a train ticket which was an eight- hour journey and costs ₹2,500.
“I travel very frequently on the Delhi-Bhopal route and I usually pay ₹4,000 for one-way travel. I was traveling in the second week of May for an important work related to the elections, but decided to first wait for cheaper fares and then ultimately booked an Executive Class ticket on Shatabdi, which is an eight-hour journey and cost me ₹2,500,” Mr Patel said.
Similarly traveling from Delhi to Guwahati, if flight booked 30days before costs ₹7,536, as compared with ₹4,801 last year which is more expensive as 57%. As same bookings made seven days before travel, a Delhi-Bengaluru flight costs ₹9,291 which was 16.8% more expensive compared to last year.
This high in fares comes at a point when there is huge demand for travel during summer vacations season as well as for school and college admissions, but there is a shortfall in capacity due to the grounding of jet airways’ 123 planes.
While the government has asked other airlines to speed up installations of new planes, it will take several months to bridge the gap.
Flights from Delhi to Bombay costs ₹22,913 for a booking made before month before as compared to ₹7,167 last year. Delhi to London also costs three time higher than last year (₹75,731 instead of ₹25,488).
“Without our contingency plan, Indian travelers will be forced to either choose expensive last-minute tickets or complicated and burdensome re-routings,” said an Airline Spokesperson.
“There is no initiative from the government to lock the fares at a certain level. This has given freedom to airlines to charge as much they like. This must stop,” said Mr Sunil Kumar Rumala, President, Travel Agents Association of India.