On key metro routes like the Delhi-Mumbai, spot fares have risen by up to 20% since January this year.
With two major carriers — IndiGo and Jet Airways — cancelling around 200 flights daily, spot fares (those booked 7-15 days before the date of travel) are increasing compared with the prices in January when the flight schedules were more or less normal. On key metro routes like the Delhi-Mumbai, spot fares have risen by up to 20% since January this year.
Fliers booking tickets within seven days of travel have to shell out over Rs 20,000 for a to-and-fro journey between Delhi and Mumbai, which is higher by around 20% compared with spot fares in January, according to data provided by Yatra.com.
Similarly, a Delhi-Bengaluru ticket will costRs 18,430 for travelling after seven days from the booking date — around 21% compared with January.
Analysts said spot fares have risen as IndiGo started cancelling around 30 flights daily since February due to shortage of pilots, which will carry on this month and the Jet fleet got depleted with several groundings due to non-payment to lessors.
According to government sources, around 200 daily flights are being cancelled by Jet. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said last week that Jet is flying with just 70 planes out of its 123 aircraft fleet size due to non-payment of dues by the airline to its lessors and lack of spares.
The two airlines normally operate a total of 1,700-2,000 flights daily.
“The repair work at the Mumbai airport has amplified the problems. There been a significant increase in spot fares on main routes. It is in the range of 15-18% month-on-month. Typically, a Delhi-Mumbai return ticket costs around Rs 15,000 per passenger if booked 3-4 days in advance,” Anand Menon, brand leader, leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions said.
Ticket prices for journey 15 days later are also heading north. A return ticket between Mumbai and Bengaluru is priced at Rs 9,426, up from Rs 7,961 in January and Rs 8,234 during February. Similarly, a two-way journey between Delhi and Hyderabad could cost Rs 8,674 during March if the booking is made 15 days in advance. It cost Rs 8,343 for the same journey in January planned 15 days ahead.
Domestic air traffic growth fell to a 52-month low at 9.1% year-on-year during January mainly due to higher fares. Industry executives expect the growth moderation to continue due to airlines flying lesser capacities.
“Groundings by Jet is likely to keep the passenger traffic growth in the 10-12% range for next few months,” an executive at low-cost carrier said.
Menon of FCM Travel Solutions expects the spot fares to remain higher unless the Jet situation improves quickly.