Interestingly, fares for the festival season are lower when compared year-on-year. An travel industry executive said fares will continue to rise as the festival season progresses and as customers book closer to the travel date
The start of the festive season has brought some good tidings to the country's aviation sector. Though traffic in the first seven months has grown at its slowest pace in the last five years, travel companies are beginning to see demand coming back.
"In the upcoming festive season, we are confident that the industry will bounce back as travellers plan their holidays or visit family and friends at this time. At Yatra.com, we have already seen an uptick in demand in the first few days of September," its COO (B2C) Sharat Dhall said.
Interestingly, fares for the festival season - from now to December-end - are lower when compared year-on-year. While ticket prices have picked up for October, and in some routes for November, rates for December are still lower than 2018.
"Lower rates in December as compared to last year can be attributed to airline sales that were launched recently to induce travellers to book their tickets in advance,” Dhall added.
An executive from a travel company based in Mumbai said fares will continue to rise as the festive season progresses and as customers book closer to the travel date.
"People do travel during festivals, regardless of the overall economic situation. I don't think travel will be hit badly. We may not have similar kinds of numbers that we are used to having. At the same time, airlines should be able to recoup some of the losses in passenger traffic," said Ajay Prakash, Chief Executive of Nomad Travels.Starting slow
The year hadn't started well for the sector. Even as Jet Airways suspended its operations, the economic slowdown added to the tepid traffic movement.
Passenger traffic grew just 3.5 percent in the first seven months of the year, compared to over 20 percent growth in the same period last year. “Domestic air passenger growth has been slowing over the last couple of months on account of a reduction in capacity owing to the exit of Jet Airways," Dhall said.
But that will change now. The festive season is the busiest time for the aviation sector. And an increase in travel to and between metros will push up prices.
Already, fares between Mumbai and Delhi are seeing a double-digit rise and will keep travelling north in coming days.