India: Jet Airways’ demise leads to spike in airfares, massive hotel cancellations

The abrupt shutdown of Jet Airways operations has left Indian tourism industry a worried lot as it has led to an average 25 percent spike in airfares across the sectors leading to massive hotel cancellations, says industry experts.

Some key sectors like Mumbai-Hyderabad, Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Mumbai have seen the fares flying by 62 percent, 52 percent and 49 percent, while the Bengaluru-Delhi sector has had the lowest impact with a 10 percent surge shortly before and soon after the grounding of Jet.

Financially struggling for months, Jet Airways decided to call it quits from Wednesday night, leaving 22,000 jobs at stake and inconveniencing lakhs of passengers both domestic as well as international as Jet was the single largest airline out of and into the country.

“The impact of grounding of Jet Airways is not only restricted to the airlines sector as tourism has taken a severe beating due to the massive surge in airfares during the peak demand season. The impact is unlikely to fade away anytime soon and may continue into the rest of the year,” Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) president Sunil Kumar said Friday.

He said, both the domestic as well as international travel and related sectors are affected as travelers are cancelling their hotel bookings as airfares have surged by over 25 percent on average.

Leading tour operator Cox & Kings’ Karan Anand said the shuttering of Jet has upset the travel plans of many who have booked on Jet.

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“This is the peak travel season and the airfares for the next 10-12 days are up by at least 25 percent as the capacity has fallen massively dissuading last minute travelers,” he added.

However, online travel aggregator co- founder Nishant Pitti tried to downplay the impact saying airfares normally fluctuate as the aviation industry is always unpredictable.

“It is true that passengers are in panic now but going forward there will not be much impact as other airlines like Spicejet and Indigo are adding more planes into their fleet which will help balance demand-supply gap,” he said.

Train booking and discovery platform Confirmtkt cofounder Sripad Vaidya said due to the flight charges going up, there is a huge surge in people opting for trains and buses.

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