Mumbai: This summer could be more expensive for domestic air travel. An online booking firm says a pile-up of grounded airplanes in the country might result in the possibility of a rise in airfares for domestic travel by 20 percent during the season, a peak time for families to travel. “At least 50 planes are out of action owing to multiple reasons,” said Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer of the business-to-consumer segment at Yatra Online Pvt Ltd. “That’s an 8 percent reduction of domestic airline capacity.”
Airline woes in India
Hit by recent financial woes, Jet Airways grounded close to 40 aircraft of its fleet by the lessors due to non-payment. The carrier has been delaying salaries to its employees and owes money to banks, vendors and lessors due to rising fuel costs and competition.
IndiGo, the biggest low-cost airline by market value in the continent, will be cancelling dozens of flights each day over the next couple of months as it battles a shortage of skilled pilots. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has already denied US planemaker Boeing Co’s 737 MAX aircraft an entry or transit in its airspace following the recent fatal crash of a plane of the same type in Ethiopia.
In light of the crash, budget carrier SpiceJet cancelled 14 of its flights the DGCA banned Boeing 737 MAX planes. The flights on sectors including Delhi-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Kochi, Hyderabad-Mumbai, Bengaluru-Madurai, Hyderabad-Bengaluru, Chennai-Port Blair, Chennai-Guwahati, Delhi-Goa and Delhi-Pune, have been cancelled.
On course to becoming the third-largest domestic aviation market by 2024, the sector posted 46 straight months of double-digit growth through to June last year, the International Air Transport Association said.