Passengers are paying more than double the price they paid before the pandemic began.
India is seeing a huge jump in the price of air tickets as skies begin to open up for international travel. In some sectors, the fare is more than two to three times that of pre-pandemic costs.
India discontinued scheduled international flight operations in March 2020. At present, international flight operations are being carried out under an Air-bubble agreement that India has signed with many countries.
Confusion still dictates travel norms as countries grapple with the emergence of the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron. Flying to countries like the United Arab Emirates, USA, Britain, and Canada is proving to be exceptionally costly for Indians.
Take, for example, the fare from New Delhi to Toronto, Canada. It used to cost approximately Rs 80,000 in pre-Covid times but is now touching Rs 2.37 lakhs.
High demand for tickets and low supply of available flights is proving to be a dampener to many travel plans as Indians look to meet families, friends or just go on a long-awaited holiday abroad.
As soon as India was taken off Britain’s ‘red list’, around admission time for colleges and universities in late August and September, airfares took a drastic jump northward as parents rushed to book return flight tickets. A ticket that cost Rs 60,000 earlier was being sold for Rs 1.2 lakh.
Return flights from Delhi to the UAE also increased exponentially, costing close to Rs 33,000. Earlier, a round trip would cost around Rs 20,000.
India-US return tickets that used to cost somewhere between Rs 90,000 and Rs 1.2 lakh are now priced at Rs 1.7 lakh. Airfares to Chicago, Washington DC and New York City have seen a 100 per cent rise and are beyond the reach of many Indians. Prices of business class ticket prices have also doubled to nearly Rs 6 lakh.
Passengers complain that airfares this winter are at least three times that of 2019 and in some cases, a one-way ticket is costlier than that of a pre-Covid return fare.
The need of the day is to increase the number of flights. People are now being forced to purchase tickets at sky-high prices because there are not enough international flights being allowed to operate in the country.