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Friday, 03 May, 2019, 10 : 10 AM [IST]

International air fares soar as Jet Airways temporarily suspends operations

According to a report in The Hindu Business Line, international airfares to and from India have risen sharply after Jet Airways temporarily suspended operations since April 17.  According to government sources, Jet used nearly 40 of the over 100 aircraft in its fleet for international flights all of which are now off the air.  According to John Nair, Head, Business Travel, Cox and Kings Ltd, suspension of Jet’s operations has led to an escalation in airfares across sectors, especially from India to Europe and the US.  “These long haul sectors were well-connected through hubs in London and Amsterdam, to onward points in US and the rest of Europe. The shortfall has led to foreign carriers operating on these sectors benefiting disproportionately from this sudden collapse of an airline. Airfares have shot up by anywhere between 25 per cent and 35 per cent on these routes,” he said.  Industry watchers said that the increase in international airfares was higher — between 25% and 40%. 

Daniel D’souza, President and Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel, adds that some international players have increased capacity using larger aircraft to meet the rising demand in the holiday season. “We are still witnessing strong demand and hope the price fluctuations will stabilise soon,” he says.

Aloke Bajpai, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, ixigo, says that international fares for peak travel period of May and June have increased by an average of 38% as compared to the first quarter of the year. “Strained capacity combined with an increase in travel demand has led to a 20% growth in bookings in Indian domestic carriers and foreign airlines flying to popular international sectors this summer.” he says.

According to Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, B2C, Yatra, fares on long haul flights have risen. Prices on short haul destinations are largely unaffected as low-cost airlines have added plenty of capacity and Jet anyway did not have a significant presence on some of the short haul routes. Government officials admitted that when it comes to travel to and from India the situation is becoming difficult for flyers. It is not easy for the government to do anything as international air travel is governed by air service bilaterals which take a long time to conclude.

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