Leisure travel to see surge during Diwali

New Delhi: After seeing “fairly good” demand for air travel during Navratri, India’s travel industry is expecting a significant increase in aviation business this Diwali, with searches from pleasure trips increased by almost 70% since October.

“Travel during Navratri and Dussehra this year was mainly concentrated towards metro cities as compared to leisure destinations. Diwali flight travel searches have surpassed Navratri. Demand for leisure travel for Diwali is at its peak, witnessing a 67% month-on-month increase in searches,” said Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and group CEO of Ixigo.

So far, domestic air traffic in October was around 11.4 million passengers between October 1 and 28. Compared to the pre-pandemic level of October 2019, when there were 12.3 million passengers, the growth is nominal. In particular, the highest daily air traffic for this month remains below the record mark of 438,000 passengers.

Capacity constraints in the Indian aviation sector are reflected in higher air fares, limiting demand and intensifying competition. So far, the highest daily air traffic and the most daily departures were recorded before the suspension of Go First at 456,082 passengers on April 30 and 3,054 departures on April 27.

“Generally, the air traffic during Navratri, Dussehra has been quite good to match the festive season. It seems that some sectors have not fared as well as expected. (Considering ICC men’s cricket) World Cup is ongoing, could that be a reason? The price of the plane could be another reason as new fast trains connecting the metro cities have been introduced recently, and people might have changed their preference,” said PP Khanna, a member of the Federation board. of Indian Tourism and Hospitality Associations.

Airline prices have increased by 60 to 70% on domestic routes and by 20 to 25% for short-haul international destinations over the past year, according to travel company Thomas Cook.

“India’s migrant labor population continues to take advantage of extended weekends and public holidays to return home, and this is leading to an increase in flight charges and air fares from metros to mini-metros and cities of level 2-3,” Indiver Rastogi, president and group leader. of global business travel, Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC Travel, he said.

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