Low fuel price (aviation turbine fuel) and expansion in capacity with the launch of new airlines like Vistara and AirAsia have resulted in drop in air fares across the country’s top busy routes. In fact, the average fares across these five routes, if a consumer booked tickets 6-14 days in advance for travel during the current month, are the lowest since December 2012.
Airlines usually register high occupancy levels during December as due to Christmas and New Year holidays there’s larege-scale travel by tourists.
The five major routes are Delhi-Mumbai, Bangalore-Delhi, Mumbai-Hyderabad, Delhi-Goa and Mumbai-Chennai.
Average fares on the Delhi-Mumbai route, the busiest one, in December stood at Rs 4,984, much lower than what they were during the same month in the last three years — Rs 7,000 (Dec 2014), Rs 9,502 (Dec 2013), and Rs 8,395 (Dec 2012).
Similarly, average fare on the Delh–Bangalore route stood at Rs 6,204 which is significantly lower than than what they were in the last three years at Rs 8,291, Rs 9,453 and Rs 7,229, respectively.
According to Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra,com, the low fares during the current month this year is due to low ATF prices and increasing capacity which has come due to launch of new airlines. Airline turbine fuel, which constitute around 40-50% of the total operational expenses of an airline declined by 28.71% since last December.
“In the last year or so, we have seen 5-10% decline in the airfare across domestic as well as international airlines. On some sectors, like Mumbai-New York and New Delhi-New York, in the last year or so the peak decline in minimum fare has been as high as 71% and 56% respectively,” Mohit Gupta, chief operating officer (Online), MakeMyTrip.com said.
However, the benfit of lower fares are only available on the busy routes. On routes connecting smaller cities like from New Delhi to places like Ranchi, Raipur and Coimbatore the fares have increased.