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The mass media has been abuzz with reports that there has been a massive hike in air-ticket fares. A simple reality check reveals that these reports are baseless
For the past couple of days, the country has been abuzz with talks of (nearly) astronomical hikes in domestic air-ticket prices, especially on the Mumbai-New Delhi route.
The Times of India and news channels like Times Now and CNN-IBN have claimed over the past few days that ticket fares have shot through the roof for New Delhi-Mumbai flights, with economy-class tickets costing Rs20,000 even from low-cost carriers for on-the-spot bookings.
Akash Seth of Raj Travels told Moneylife that prices have been high for the New Delhi-Mumbai sector, due to lack of adequate spots on runways and scarcity of seats.
This is surprising, because a simple check revealed that things are not quite as bad. "There has been little hike in air-ticket prices, and we don't see any such huge hikes as the media has reported," said Thomas C Thottatil, head of corporate communications at Cox & Kings (India) Ltd. His view was seconded by a Thomas Cook executive, who said that the airfare for New Delhi flights have not recorded any significant hike.
"There has been an increase in ticket prices, but that happened some 2-3 weeks ago," she told Moneylife.
Online booking sites like Yatra and MakeMyTrip do not reflect any massive hikes in the rates. This morning, an economy-class ticket for Mumbai-New Delhi was priced at around Rs5,000 at the lowest and Rs30,000 at the highest at MakeMyTrip. The minimum and maximum price of a business-class ticket was Rs13,000 and Rs38,000 respectively.
For Monday, Yatra showed that its economy class ticket fares start at
Rs4,000-and they go up to Rs13,000 for business class.
Manoj Gursahani of Travel Mart, however, said that there has been a hike of about 15%-20%, but it is nothing like what has been reported.
According to Mr Thottatil, a hike may be expected, with the rise in the price of jet fuel. Mr Gursahani said, "A hike in fuel price will definitely impact air-ticket prices."