By James Mathew
The upcoming holiday period in India will also put more pressure on demand for flights
Airfares between Dubai and Indian cities have been increasing this year and are set to surge further in May, following the grounding of Jet Airways flights and the rising demand over the upcoming holiday season, industry experts told Arabian Business.
“Airfare between India and Middle East has seen a 20 to 100 percent increase in the recent weeks, depending on how close or advance from the date of travel a passenger makes the booking,” said Balu Ramachadran, head of air and distribution at online travel website Cleartrip.
Ramachadran said that, according to their data, in the last week of April airfares to Dubai from some of the leading Indian cities were up by 50 percent to 100 percent on a year-on-year basis, depending on how far in advance the booking was done.
Travel industry sources said airfares between Dubai and India are expected to rise further after the third week of May, when peak outbound travel season in India starts.
“Like all airlines, Emirates offers a variety of fares throughout the year depending on market forces such as price of jet fuel and demand during peak holiday seasons,” an Emirates spokesperson said.
Another issue impacting airfares is reduced supply. Last month, Jet Airways, which is part-owned by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, decided to ground all flights after it ran out of cash reserves and looked to investors for additional funds.
The total number of airline seats between India and Dubai is 66,504 per week, according to government data, with Jet Airways accounting for nearly a fifth of capacity.
Some easing may come from Indian budget carrier SpiceJet, which has announced two additional daily between Dubai and Mumbai, commencing towards the end of May.
Officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation have also said they are waiting until the end of this month to get more clarity the future of Jet Airways before they start allocating its flying rights on international routes, including to Dubai.
“The future of Jet Airways still remains hazy as no details are coming out on the on-going sale process of the airline,” an aviation analyst with rating agency ICRA has told Arabian Business this week.
In the long-term airfares are expected to come down once seat capacities are restored.