Better connectivity and increased capacities have ensured air fares are flying through the roof during the week of Christmas-New Year both in the domestic sectors as well as key international tourism hotspots people throng to during this time of the year. While domestic sectors like Delhi-Goa, Mumbai-Goa, Delhi-Kochi and Mumbai-Kochi are costly by low single digits to almost 25 per cent, tickets to New York and Washington as London are down by nearly 27 per cent during the forthcoming Christmas-New Year weeks. International sectors like Bangkok, Dubai and Singapore are however costlier between 20 and 34 per cent during this season, according to data from Cox & Kings. Increase in network and fleet expansion by domestic carriers have resulted in airfares not climbing steeply, says John Nair, business travel head at Cox & Kings, a Thomas Cook arm. Airlines like Indigo, Goair and Vistara have been adding more planes to their fleet through this year, which lead to more frequent flights, and lower fare offers to fill these up before the upcoming holidays.
Fares to international destinations such as US, are down as many of the Gulf carriers are seeing a fall in load factors from their hubs. For almost all the Gulf carriers, India is the largest market either as direct connections or hub operations. The case is similar in Europe as well, where new carriers like Brussels Airlines, Alitalia have started operations, while Jet Airways is expanding its capacity in the India-Europe sector. On the domestic front, during the Christmas week (December 22-26), a Mumbai-Goa ticket is up just about 2 per cent, but for the New Year week (December 29-January 2), the same is up almost 21 per cent, while Mumbai-Kochi for the same periods is up marginally 3.65 per cent and 18.48 per cent, respectively.
A Mumbai-Bangalore ticket on the other hand is down by over 3.5 per cent for the Christmas week and up at over 3.6 per cent for the New Year week. Similarly, Mumbai-Chennai is up at over 8 per cent and 11.35 per cent, respectively. Mumbai-Jaipur is up at over 4 per cent for Christmas and down close to 9 per cent, respectively. On the other hand Delhi-Goa is up 6.4 per cent for the Christmas week but down over 4 per cent for the New Year week. While a Delhi-Kochi is down about 0.4 per cent but is steeply higher at by close to 24 per cent for the New Year week. Similarly, Delhi-Bangalore is up over 6 per cent and around 24 per cent respectively, and Delhi-Chennai is up 14.5 per cent and around 22 per cent respectively. But Delhi-Jaipur is down by 4.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent.
On the international destinations, a Christmas week ticket between Mumbai and Bangkok is down over 13 per cent, while the same is almost 4 per cent dearer for New Year week. Mumbai-Dubai is down over 7 per cent and close to 2 per cent, respectively for Christmas and New Year, while Mumbai-Singapore is up over 17 per cent and down over 5.5 per cent for the two weeks. Mumbai-London is cheaper by 1.3 per cent for the Christmas week and a hefty 21.6 per cent for the Yew Year but Mumbai-Washington is down close to 27 per cent at Rs 79,010 for the Christmas week and at Rs 69,470 or almost 19 per cent for the New Year week.
Delhi-Bangkok is also down by 9.5 per cent for the Christmas week but up over 8 per cent for the New Year week and Delhi-Dubai is cheaper by almost 3 per cent for the Christmas week cheaper by as much as 34 per cent for the New Year week. A Christmas week Delhi-Singapore ticket is coming at close to 6 per cent cheaper but for the New Year week it is up over 21 per cent. Delhi-London is cheaper by over 8 per cent for the Christmas week but costlier by over 8.6 per cent for the New Year week. A Delhi-Washington ticket is coming at around 11 per cent cheaper at Rs 84,896 during Christmas, while the same is steeply cheaper by almost 27 per cent at Rs 56,742 for the New Year week, according to the Cox & Kings data.