Flight Tickets Can Become Upto 40% Cheaper After Govt Lifts Ban From International Flights
Airfares are expected to come down by up to 40% due to an increase in flights when international operations resume from March 27.
This would be the first time India is opening its airspace to international flights after two straight years of Covid-induced restrictions.
Airlines Get Ready
Lufthansa and group carrier Swiss plan to almost double their flights in the coming months.
Singapore Airlines may increase flights by 17%.
Meanwhile, domestic carrier IndiGo hopes to restart nearly 100 global flights in the next few months.
Sky-High Airfares: Why?
At present, airlines are operating under air bubble arrangements with a few countries since the ban on international flights is still in place.
Compared to pre-pandemic figures, airfares had reached heights of almost 100% due to limited capacity, particularly on routes such as India-US.
Group chief executive of travel portal Ixigo Aloke Bajpai said that a demand-supply imbalance was created due to suspension of regular international flights.
This made foreign travel on certain routes inside the air bubbles more expensive.
Rise In Fuel Prices
Now that flights will resume soon, the capacity will return and international fares can reach pre pandemic levels thanks to an increase in connectivity and more routes.
The cheapening of airfares will also help bear the brunt of a fresh rise in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices as a result of the surge in crude oil prices following Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
ATF prices have been increased five times this year, on top of a 100% increase last year.
Price Hike Ahead?
Makemytrip group chief executive Rajesh Magow warned that prices may rise again if fuel prices continue their upward trend due to a lack of resolution to the Ukraine crisis.
Bajpai said that leisure travel abroad will see strong pent-up demand but business travel may take more time to return to normal levels.
Corporate travel suffered a blow during the pandemic due to the shift to remote work.
Airlines may be affected due to slower recovery of business and leisure trips.
General Manager India at Singapore Airlines Sy Yen Chen said that the airline welcomed the government’s move to reopen foreign travel.
He said that the move coupled with the expansion of Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lanes across India will give greater convenience to Indian travellers.
The airline is also gearing up to increase its frequencies of flights from across India in anticipation for renewed demand.
Increasing Flight Frequencies
It will also resume its A380 services from Mumbai this month, and from Delhi in the near future.
Lufthansa and Swiss will increase their weekly flight count to 42 from the current 22 by October this year.
A senior executive at Vistara said that the airline is “exploring all options on augmenting international flights.”