New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) With fear of Coronavirus forcing Indian travellers to call off their travel plans especially to South East Asian cities, airfares to the second most popular outbound tourist destination Bangkok has plummeted.

Now, a round trip airfare could cost as low as Rs 9,325 for making the journey even within a week.

The cheapest to and from ticket on Delhi-Bangkok route is being offered by NokScoot for flying to Bangkok on February 26 and return on March 1.

As per online travel aggregator MakeMyTrip, a return fare on the route by Air India for the same journey dates is available for Rs 12,419 (inclusive of fees and surcharges).

Airline industry sources said that bookings for flights to Vietnam has also fallen with drop being as sharp as 40 per cent. The largest domestic private carrier IndiGo which first launched flights to Hanoi and then to Ho Chi Minh City in October last year has reduced frequency to the South East Asian nation.

A one-way fare on Kolkata-Ho Chi Minh City by Thai Air Asia is currently available for Rs 7,773.

Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director at diversified Bird Group, said that booking level has dropped by 20-30 per cent for most South East Asian destinations. He said that demand on Delhi-Kathmandu has also seen impact.

Travel industry experts said that business related travel on South East Asian routes has been impacted badly but leisure travel has been worse affected.

As World Health Organization (WHO) had declared Coronavirus outbreak global emergency, the entire international travel has been impacted. The latest count show over 1,700 deaths in China with total infections crossing over 70,000. Apart from China, as many as 25 countries have reported positive Coronavirus cases.

The epidemic has already taken a heavy toll on travel sector and airlines have seen their international traffic being hit. In order to keep demand steady for its flights, Air India has announced four-day flash sale.

Both Air India and IndiGo have stopped flights to China and Hong Kong in the wake of Coronavirus spread.

–IANS

nk/sn/vin

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