During this Diwali season, airfares for non-stop flights from Mumbai to northern states have experienced a significant surge, leaving travelers with considerably higher expenses. Destinations in northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand have witnessed notably elevated airfare prices, compelling passengers to allocate substantial funds for their festive journeys.
Ranchi and Raipur, in particular, have emerged as the most expensive destinations, with return fares from Mumbai reaching an astonishing Rs 40,000 during the latter part of October. Even travel to cities like Prayagraj, Patna, Lucknow, Gaya, Darbhanga, and Agra is costing passengers more than Rs 30,000.
Diwali Airfares: North vs. South – A Tale of Pricing Disparity
In contrast, travelers heading to popular southern cities such as Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, and Hyderabad are enjoying more budget-friendly options, with return fares still under Rs 10,000, even as Diwali rapidly approaches.
This substantial disparity in pricing can be attributed to the principles of supply and demand. Airlines are operating fewer flights from Mumbai to northern destinations compared to southern cities, signifying that Diwali fares to the north would be on the higher side. To provide context, on September 1, the most affordable return fare for Diwali travel on non-stop flights from Mumbai to Patna was set at Rs 35,000, though it has since decreased to Rs 33,000.
Navigating Diwali Travel: Cost-Effective Strategies and Popular Routes
For travelers venturing north, a more budget-friendly alternative may involve selecting flights with layovers in Delhi. Since many airlines, including those headquartered in Mumbai, use Delhi as a hub, connecting flights to northern destinations are often 40-50 percent less expensive than non-stop options, especially during the peak travel season.
Gaurav Patwari, VP – air category at Cleartrip, shed light on the top three metro-to-non-metro domestic flight routes during Diwali in terms of bookings: Delhi to Lucknow, Mumbai to Patna, and Chennai to Kolkata. He noted a significant increase in domestic bookings for Diwali travel this year, with a rise of about 28.4 percent compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the demand for air travel from Mumbai during Diwali has seen a robust increase of around 16.6 percent compared to last year.