As many as 144 flights were either delayed or cancelled (mostly delayed) of the 512 total arrivals to Delhi, according to data sourced from Delhi airport’s official website on September 5 till 6 pm
Delhi tops the list of destinations for tourists visiting India this year between October 23 to November 3, according to a Booking.com data. But the decline in air quality in the capital has raised concerns amid travelers who are either rescheduling or cancelling their trip to Delhi.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Prashant Pitti, Executive Director, EaseMyTrip, said, “It is the peak season for the travel industry and in the last 10 days good amount of decline in incoming travel to Delhi both domestic and international. Delhi is a gateway for people in India where they land in Delhi and then have connected flight. We are seeing a decline of 10-15 percent in travel to Delhi.”
According to Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com, with the falling AQI levels (air quality index), travelers are looking at cutting their trip to the capital shorter to avoid various health hazards.
“Individuals are looking to take respite by travelling to nearby hill stations during the weekend. Business travelers, too, are looking at postponing their business trips and rescheduling it for a later time period,” he added.
But the high pollution levels are not just impacting business travelers but also the family segment.
“We have seen bigger decline in itineraries where there were multiple passengers. While we don’t know whether they are related or not, the hypothesis is that it might be family. We know that multiple passenger booking has been impacted the most,” said Pitti.
Last year the share of the family segment declined by eight percent in overall inbound bookings to Delhi, according to a report.
As many as 144 flights were either delayed or cancelled (mostly delayed) of the 512 total arrivals to Delhi, according to data sourced from Delhi airport’s official website on September 5 till 6 pm.
As for departures, there were around 173 delayed or cancelled flights out of the total 709 flights departing from Delhi airport.
While Delhi is seeing the maximum impact, the other northern regions are also getting affected due to the high levels of pollution.
“It is not just Delhi problem but a problem of entire North India. So, we are seeing decline in flights to Agra, Jaipur, as well. Knowing the current situation people want to stay indoors. This is impacting India on a global level,” said Pitti.
All these markets are important for the travel space especially during the peak periods.
“Delhi is number one serving airport in India right now, both international and domestic. Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Agra and few more put together would easily command 20-25 percent of the entire India’s travel space,” he said.
Pitti also added that while “they would want to see the traffic booking to increase in the next one month to compensate but if traffic booking doesn’t increase in the next month or so then we have lost the opportunity.”The only respite is the prediction by Met department which says that there is a possibility of strong winds in the next 24 hours. This would mean pollution levels in the national capital will drop due to an increase in wind speed.LIVE NOW... Video series on How to Double Your Monthly Income... where Rahul Shah, Ex-Swiss Investment Banker and one of India's leading experts on wealth building, reveals his secret strategies for the first time ever. Register here to watch it for FREE.