Competition, DGCA watch keep Diwali fares from skyrocketing

ASHWINI PHADNIS VARUN AGGARWAL New Delhi/Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2018

While historically air fares have been artificially high closer to departure,the premium pricing calendar book is phasing out gradually

Shorter festival period ‘peak window’ also helped

Travellers were in for a surprise this Diwali as they did not have to pay “exorbitant” fares for travel, with new players in the sector keeping the market competitive.

According to airline ticket booking website Yatra.com, the average Mumbai-Delhi fare from November 9 to November 15 was ₹5,186 compared to ₹4,541 from October 26 to November 1, up just 14 per cent. In the years past, fares were seen going upwards of 200 per cent during Diwali.

A survey of fares on 10 routes on November 10, 11 and 12 indicated similar trends to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “The survey was conducted by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and included a combination of “busy metro and non-metro sectors”, a senior official told BusinessLine.

The official declined to reveal specifics of the fares charged, or the routes surveyed, but said that till late Friday evening, the Ministry had not received a single complaint of any airline charging exorbitant fares during the festival season.

“With new airlines coming in, as well as an increase in flights by existing players particularly on key routes, pricing during the festival season was very reasonable this year in comparison to the year before,” said Sharat Dhall, President of Yatra.com.

This year (and the year before), the Diwali peak was down to 2 days before and after versus the seven days in the past. In addition, the DGCA fare-watch initiative, which ensured fares did not inflate to unprecedented levels, helped,” said Indiver Rastogi, Chief Operating Officer and Head (Corporate Travel), Thomas Cook (India).

“This is certainly of value to consumers when price is determined purely by the mechanics of demand-supply, rather than the practice of benchmark pricing,” he said.

Incentivising buyers

While historically airfares have been artificially high closer to departure, the premium pricing calendar book is fading out gradually.

Further, to encourage the habit of advance booking and stretching the buying curve, airlines are using spot pricing and distress inventory strategies.

Published on November 17, 2015

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like