The festive season in India, from September to January, is a time of joy, celebration, and increased economic activity. This period starts with Ganesh Chaturthi, continues through Diwali, and culminates with the New Year. Amongst the various repercussions of this vibrant season, one noticeable trend is the surge in airfares, particularly during the Diwali week.
The Soaring Airfares
Diwali Demand Spikes Airfares
As the festive season approaches, the demand for air travel experiences a significant upswing. Families and individuals nationwide plan trips with their loved ones, creating a substantial spike in flight demand. This surge in demand, especially during the Diwali week, has led to airfares shooting up by as much as 44%.
Tariffs and Routes Affected
Notably, the routes between major cities like Mumbai and Delhi, Pune and Delhi, and Bangalore and Kolkata have witnessed the most substantial fare increases. For instance, the average one-way fare for the Mumbai-Delhi route has seen a staggering rise of 27.8% compared to the previous year’s Diwali week. Similarly, the fares for the Pune-Delhi and Bangalore-Kolkata routes have surged by 40%.
Intriguingly, despite the surge in demand, there has only been a marginal increase of 1.2% in the number of flights operating on these routes compared to the previous Diwali. This suggests that the aviation industry has faced challenges meeting the heightened demand.
India’s aviation sector has navigated a turbulent period in recent years. Events such as GoFirst’s insolvency, SpiceJet’s financial stress, and pilot attrition with Akasa have presented significant hurdles. Despite these challenges, the industry has shown resilience in adversity.
Factors Driving Airfare Surge
Demand vs. Capacity
A crucial factor contributing to the surge in airfares is the delicate balance between demand and capacity. The robust demand for flights, particularly during festive seasons, coupled with limited capacity due to various industry challenges, has created a scenario where airlines can command higher prices.
The economic activity during the festive season also plays a pivotal role. Increased spending power and a desire to celebrate with family and friends lead to higher travel volumes. This surge in demand further amplifies the economic principles of supply and demand, resulting in escalated airfare prices.
The surge in airfares during the Diwali week is a testament to the dynamic nature of the aviation industry in India. Despite facing challenges, the sector has shown adaptability and resilience. As we celebrate the festive season, we must be mindful of these trends and plan accordingly.
How can travelers mitigate the impact of rising airfares during the festive season?
Travelers can employ several strategies to navigate the surge in airfares. Booking flights well in advance, being flexible with travel dates, and considering nearby airports are effective ways to find more affordable options. Additionally, utilizing travel rewards programs and monitoring fare trends can lead to potential savings.
Are there any strategies for finding affordable flights amidst the surge in demand?
Yes, there are several strategies. Firstly, it's advisable to set fare alerts for desired routes to receive notifications about price drops. Additionally, considering alternative airports, being open to red-eye or midweek flights, and booking tickets during off-peak hours can help secure more budget-friendly fares.
What measures are airlines taking to address the challenges of meeting increased demand?
Airlines are implementing various measures to address the surge in demand. These may include optimizing routes and schedules, leasing additional aircraft, and hiring seasonal staff. Moreover, some airlines may introduce limited-time promotions or discounts to incentivize early bookings.
I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
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