Airfares skyrocket amid travel curbs on India
Fares to US almost doubled; domestic airlines increased fares up to 10% in last six months
Hyderabad: International airlines have initiated tweaking of pricing mechanism on global routes as several countries banned travelling to and from India due to rising number of Covid-19 cases. Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore and UAE have already banned travel from India. However, airlines are operating dedicated cargo flights, flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts to select countries. Travel agencies in the city attributed the reasons such as travel restrictions on India and low occupancy rate to steep rise in air fares.
"Domestic airlines have increased fares by five to 10 per cent in the last six months within government caps. For international airlines, it has been more than three months that fares touched Rs 80,000 for one-way journey to US, but after April 24 as countries banned travel from India, the fares are moving above Rs 1,50,000 for one way travel.
People mostly travel to US via Dubai, but now as Dubai government has imposed restrictions on people travelling from India, they have to take direct flights. Also, there are no regular flights or air bubble flights. Only charted flights are operating. Vistara, Spice Jet, Indigo, True jet, Air India are currently working as far I know. Business are travelers occupying 20 per cent, while students and residents are also getting back to India. People coming to Hyderabad accounted for almost 70 per cent occupancy until second week of April. Indian residents flying from Middle East have 80-90 per cent occupancy in flights," Venkatesh, founder, T6 Travel agency, told Bizz Buzz.
"The flight fares have gone up. It depends upon the load and occupancy, If seats are filling fast, the airlines will keep the prices on higher side. Some airlines have canceled their operations. We are observing the fare rise from March 1 onwards. Mostly, business travelers and individuals on other emergency work are travelling. Domestic flights have 60 per cent occupancy and international flights, as far I observed, have 80-90 per cent occupancy. Businessmen on tourist visas and individuals on work permits are travelling to other countries," observes Srinu, senior travel consultant at Travel World.
One of the customers who travelled to Hyderabad a month ago also express the same worries. Anil, a software employee, says "I had to travel back home from Oman in the end of March as it was a sudden decision and I was travelling on work permit basis; it was difficult to search for flights. Some of the airlines kept re scheduling and I went through the complete process of getting certified as Covid negative, which is mandatory for international travel. I am waiting for my office to confirm for my return travel again, but I observe that charges are high for international travel as occupancy is less in flights."