Start of holiday season pushes up airfares

Kochi-West Asia sector witnesses price surge

The closure of Jet Airways operations on Wednesday coinciding with the summer holiday travel season has pushed up air travel costs by 30% to 40%. The Cochin-Dubai sector, which normally costs between ₹6,000 and ₹10,000, has seen the ticket charge go up to ₹12,000 to ₹15,000, air ticketing industry sources said on Thursday.

The so-called budget airlines have also become costly, they said pointing out that only long-term bookings have not been seriously hit by the price surge. European and US sectors have not been affected, they said. Tickets on these sectors are booked on a long-term basis and normally cancellations are few and far between.

The price surge is now largely seen on the Kochi-West Asia sector. The summer vacation in Kerala has seen frequent travels from the State to West Asia destinations. A similar surge in ticket price can be expected in the West Asia-Kochi sector when the holiday season starts there in June-July.

Industry sources also pointed out that frequency of flights to eastern destinations like Thailand and Malaysia too had been reduced by operators in the sector.

Cochin International Airport sources said that Jet Airways had cut down services about three months ago. Jet Airways had called off all its international services in the summer schedule announced last month. Domestic sector services by the airline too had been considerably reduced.

Jet Airways operated only the Mumbai-Kochi flights this month. The airline has rented space at CIAL hangar for holding six air planes as there were no crew to operate the aircraft, airport sources said.

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