Flying to non-metro for festival? Prepare for sky-high fares


MUMBAI: Domestic airfares for travel around the Diwali weekend are expectedly high, but the people bearing the brunt are those living in the metros and flying home to non-metros to be with their families. For them, fares are almost double that of metro to-metro routes.
The cheapest return fare on non-stop flights from Mumbai for travel during the Diwali weekend between October 21 and 26 is to Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, all under Rs 9,000. Kolkata continued to be the outlier metro with pricey fares — almost double that of these three — out of the city.
For non-metros with fewer flight frequencies, fares are going through the roof. For instance, the cheapest return fare on non-stop flights from Mumbai to non-metros such as Allahabad, Raipur,Ranchi, Darbhanga, Lucknow, Guwahati and Madurai are about Rs 20,000 for the Diwali weekend. Some of these destinations such as Allahabad and Darbhanga are served by one non-stop flight a day. From Delhi, the high fare routes are to Dharamshala, Darbhanga and Guwahati.
Delhi-Mumbai cheapest flight fare for Diwali is ₹14,000
It’s not only the visiting friends and relatives (VFR) traffic that has sent domestic airfares soaring, leisure travellers have upped the demand for flights from Mumbai to Srinagar, Dehradun, Kochi, Jodhpur, Port Blair, and from Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Port Blair, etc.
On Mumbai-Delhi, the busiest domestic route with about five dozen daily flights, the cheapest non-stop return fare begins at Rs 14,000, which isn’t expensive given it’s the Diwali weekend. Goa, the busiest non-metro route from Mumbai, had cheap fares, thanks to the incr easedflight frequency.
Bharatt Malik, senior VP, flights, Yatra. com, said: “We have witnessed an increase of around 5-7% in demand and booking enquiries for the upcoming festive seasonas compared to 2021. With people keen on travelling back home to visit family or for leisure travel with friends, there has been a spike in airfares by 10-12% this year as compared to last year. We are optimistic the upcoming festive season, along with the high volume of pent-up travel demand, will propel further growth of the industry. ”
Rikant Pittie, co-founder, EaseMyTrip, said festivals are usually India’s peak season as many people travel during this time. “We are anticipating demand reach of 80-90% this season as compared with 2021 as the travel sentime nt is at an all-time high,” added Pittie.





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