• UN Tourism Members advance agenda for Europe as region leads global recovery
  • Sustainable tourism market to grow at 14% CAGR by 2032
  • UN Tourism launches investment guidelines for Albania
  • 'UAE, Egypt, Vietnam popular among Indian solo travellers'
  • Oman Air mulls single aircraft-type operating model
  • Etihad Airways adds Al Qassim to its route network

Airline capacity cuts lead to potential 5-30% increase in airfares


Air travellers in India should brace themselves for a surge in flight prices this summer, ranging from 5-30%, as airlines grapple with capacity constraints amid escalating travel demand and operational challenges.

Industry experts anticipate a hike in airfare rates on popular routes. “With the onset of the peak season, we may witness upward pressure on airfares due to operational challenges faced by some airlines,” remarked Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Senior Director and Global Head of Transport, Logistics, and Mobility Consulting at Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics. “The overall impact could range between 5-8%.”

Vistara recently announced a reduction in operations, citing pilot-related issues and concerns about punctuality. “We are trimming our daily flights by 25-30, which accounts for approximately 10% of our total capacity,” stated the airline on Sunday.

Compounding the capacity constraints, IndiGo, another major carrier, has grounded 75 of its aircraft due to engine troubles. These cutbacks coincide with a surge in travel demand for the upcoming summer holidays (April-June).

Such circumstances are expected to translate into notable price hikes for travelers. “Spot fares for popular routes have spiked by 20-25% on certain sectors due to heightened demand ahead of the peak summer travel season and temporary capacity reductions resulting from flight cancellations,” noted an ixigo spokesperson. “However, this disruption is temporary, and we anticipate fares to stabilize in the coming weeks as flight schedules normalise.”

Early indications support these forecasts. Online travel agency Ixigo has observed a substantial increase in airfare prices. “Certain well-traveled routes could witness a rise ranging from 5% to 30% for one-way flights,” it highlighted. For instance, Delhi to Mumbai flights have seen an 8% surge, climbing from INR 6,058 to INR 6,541.

Experts believe that this surge in prices will be short-lived. They expect fares to level off as airlines adjust their schedules and restore normal operations.

The uptick in airfare is just one component of a potential increase in travel costs this summer. Robust pent-up demand from travelers unable to venture out during the pandemic is also likely to contribute to a 5-8 per cent overall rise in domestic travel expenditures. As Padmanabhan suggests, this may prompt some travelers to opt for trains for shorter journeys as a more economical alternative.

Read Previous

Luxury Redefined: The Leela Bhartiya City sets new standards in Bengaluru hospitality market

Read Next

Vistara Pilots discuss concerns, airline assures solutions

Download Magazine