Prices of air tickets soared on Wednesday with a Jet Airways ticket from Delhi to Mumbai available for Rs 1,05,000 after the closure of one runway at Delhi airport and rising air pollution levels in the National Capital Region resulted in some flights being cancelled. Tickets for flights on Thursday were priced at Rs 60,502 and for Friday at Rs 45,039. Mumbai-based no-frills airline GoAir was charging Rs 43,518 for a flight at 2150 hours from Delhi. The heightened pollution and resultant low visibility meant fewer flights can take off from the capital. According to online ticket booking platforms and offline ticket booking agents, most of the airlines — no-frills or full-service — have jacked up fares. Even otherwise, fares had risen since there has been no significant increase in capacity of the airlines for the winter schedule.
“One of the runways of Delhi airport is shut for maintenance for the next three days. Given the scarcity of flights due to the shutdown, ticket sales have plummeted 40% and the average ticket size has increased by 19% for last minute travel as compared to the same period last month,” said Abhishek Rajan, vice-president, Paytm. According to Jyoti Mayal, chairperson, Airline Council, in the prevailing situation if an airline has couple of seats left in the aircraft then it will increase the price for last-minute bookings. Otherwise fares have increased but there has not been any substantial jump in airfares if booked a couple of weeks before the date of travel. Most airlines are charging these prices only when one or maximum three seats are left.
Jet Airways increased ticket prices to Rs 94,793 for a flight on the Delhi to Bangalore route scheduled to depart from Delhi on Thursday. On another important route Delhi to Hyderabad, a ticket for a Jet Airways flight at 7.45 pm was available for Rs 88,198 on November 8. The fares remained at the same level for some of the flights on November 9 as well. “Delhi airport is India’s busiest airport in terms of traffic. The runway closure has resulted in reduced flights and hence operating flights have high load factor. The last-minute fares have sky-rocketed as a result of this supply crunch. We also see a 4.9% drop in bookings for air travel originating in Delhi from the daily averages for the dates 7th-10th November,” said Balu Ramachandran, head, air and distribution, Cleartrip.