New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Holi festivities have reversed the trend of lower airfares, but the good run for the general aviation sector may be shortlived as travellers still remain shy of taking flights as economic slowdown and coronavirus scare have derailed several travel plans.

The airfares have remained between 10 per cent and 33 per cent high on major metro circuits, including Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Chennai, Delhi-Hyderabad and Mumbai-Ahmedabad in the two week period before Holi, according to Ixigo, an AI-based travel app.

The airfares normally remain high just before Holi almost every year when travellers are seen returning to their native places to be part of the festivities. But the Ixigo data suggests that during the same period, airfares in Mumbai-Bengaluru, Mumbai-Kolkata, Bengaluru-Chennai, New Delhi-Chennai and New Delhi-Kolkata routes have remained between 7 per cent and 41 per cent lower than the current prices.

“Tourism during festive seasons witnesses a hike every year with travellers being presented with exciting offers and options to explore destinations apart from visiting their hometowns,” said Sabina Chopra, Co-founder and COO, Corporate Travel, and Head, Industry Relations,

She, however, added that this year, booking enquires have witnessed a decline of 52 per cent as compared to last year due to the prevailing coronavirus scare.

“This has resulted in airfares to popular destinations dropping by about 40 per cent ahead of Holi on certain routes. However, people are visiting their hometowns to celebrate Holi with grandeur and enthusiasm,” Chopra said.

Another feature of airfare trend this time is that on some popular domestic routes, there has been 20-25 per cent decrease in last minute fares on account of falling oil prices.

Airlines are also refraining from increasing prices at the moment as they preempt a weakening of demand on the domestic side.

A Mumbai-Delhi one-way flight ticket on current booking can now be had at Rs 3,333, competitively priced even though current ticket prices are normally on the higher side. Similarly, Bengaluru-Chennai current flight ticket can also be bought for Rs 2,439 now.




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