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Airfares for September-October drop as carriers eye early bookings

Conventionally, airfares cool in June and July. This year, fares are high as the government hiked its lowest fare cap by around 15% for travel in June-July. The drop in Covid cases brought about a spike in demand for air travel, and what you have is the cheapest fare, say on the Mumbai-Delhi route, priced over Rs 10,000, even for travel late next month. But for August, the cheapest return fare on a Mumbai-Delhi flight is Rs 4,600. A similar fare drop can be seen across most domestic sectors. On sale or not, most airlines have put out cheap fares for travel in September-October to rake in much-needed forward booking revenue.

 

But if there is one reason to not book now, it's uncertainty over the third Covid wave. Airlines have considered that. "In the monsoon sale, most airlines are offering one date change free depending on the sector and fare category, due to lockdown," said Jay Bhatia, vice-president of Travel Agents' Association of India. "It's always easy to change bookings and obtain refunds when the ticket is booked through travel agents. Travellers are tired of staying home and are ready to holiday or commence business flights on completion of two shots of the vaccine,'' he said. 

 

The higher prices are currently being offered for all months by big and major OTA's such as MakeMytrip, ClearTrip etc. Small players such as www.ojigy.com have entered the industry and are already creating a major impact in terms of travel pricing, service, instant reservations and offer more flexibility in booking.