If you are in an open relationship with flying, and always look forward to the next trip,  here is the BIG news! The prices of Aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, has increased by 10 per cent from the month of March. And hence, a rise in flight prices will be seen in the coming month.

The announcement was made on Feb 28th midnight and flows across the industry as a message of concern.

“ATF prices are up again by 10 per cent effective (March). Not good for already struggling industry!” AirAsia India COO Sanjay Kumar, an industry veteran, wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

The Air travellers might have to outlay more for air tickets in coming days as per the recent announcement. The price rise will be a result of multiple reasons. The primary one being the hit in ATF by 10%.

Also, a few airlines (Indigo & Jet) are also cancelling their flights due to multiple reasons (Pilot shortage & Bankruptcy).

Hence the combined effect will lower the seat availability. This will consequently make them increase fares to absorb rising costs. Yet officials are saving their statements keeping in mind the recent downfall of Kingfisher & Jet.

“We need to charge fares that at least cover our costs if we have to avoid meeting the fate of Kingfisher or Jet. This is already being seen and fares are climbing up in the past few months, something that may accelerate after the sharp 10 per cent ATF price hike in March,” an airline official confirmed.

What are the Causes?

Mentioned below are the primary reasons for the rise in flight prices in 2019:

High fuel costs PLUS TAXES in Delhi and Mumbai.

At present, fuel in Delhi costs 58,060 per km (INR 58.06 per litre). Similarly, in Mumbai, it costs 58,017 per km (INR 58.017 per litre). Also, the centre currently charges 14 per cent excise duty on ATF. Additionally, states charge up to 30 per cent sales tax or VAT.

Hence the total fuel spend becomes a major cause for the rise in costs!

Cash Strapped JET AIRWAYS

Jet Airways at the Mumbai airport - rise in flight prices
Jet Airways at the Mumbai airport. Image Source

Cash-strapped Jet Airways has grounded 19 aircraft in the last one month due to non-payment of lease rentals and for other reasons such as snags or awaiting spares. Additionally, some 6 aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their lease agreements, sources conveyed to the stock exchanges on Thursday.

To know more read, Why Jet Airways is selling its majority stake for just 1 cent.

INDIGO facing a pilot shortage

The industry men say this is a piece of bad news in a time when domestic airlines are struggling. So, generating profits in the face of tough competition and high oil prices is a challenge now.

Indigo - rise in flight prices
Indigo. Image Source

India’s largest airline by market share, Indigo, has curtailed flight operations until April 2019 because of the pilot scantiness.

What will be the effect on Travellers?

Mumbai airport’s Terminal 1
Mumbai airport’s Terminal 1. Image Source

Now, if you are a frequent traveller, this decision is going to make a drastic effect because:

  • The rise in flight prices will affect planned itineraries.
  • Many people who take connecting flights will face issues.
  • Travellers comfortable with Jet and Indigo ONLY might need to halt or choose other options.
  • Pre-bookings of tickets for the sports events this year will be a struggle for fans.

Any Solutions?

Technically the rise in flight prices cannot be curtailed at the moment. Yet we have some workarounds for you:

  • Do not book through travel agents, if you generally do. Prices will be subject to additional charges.
  • While booking online opt for the old branded booking sites. They have some or the other offer to sustain customers.
  • Plan your journey way in advance and not on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Avoid premium meals and optional services provided on the flight.
  • Carry basic luggage and not too much of it. This will again save you from the extra charges.

The rise in flight prices is definitely a concern for travellers. And all we can do is hope for it to drop down.

However, there are a few industry people who think it is a good move after serving customers with low fares for too long.

Jitender Bhargava
Jitender Bhargava. Image Source.

You have to understand economics. You cannot be charging low fares just because you have placed a huge number of orders for new aircraft. We know we are working in a commercial environment where there is total freedom for the airlines to take steps but there is also something called national interest. And that will come only with an increase in price in the middle of constant low fares,” said, Jitender Bhargava, Former ED, Air India, via Economic times.

So now, do you think the rise in flight prices will support the financial stability of the airlines?

OR

Do we really need to support the freedom of travelling & its parameters?

Because the significance of being a traveller is still underrated in India!

Do let us know by your comments in the section below.

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