Skip urgent flight-booking, DGCA's grounding is party time for airliners; flights expensive on key routes

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 14, 2018 17:03 hrs
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Mumbai: On Wednesday, barely hours after the DGCA grounded 65 flights of IndiGo and GoAir, last-minute fares on flight-bookings have risen by 5-10%.

Airfares on busy routes such as Delhi-Mumbai soared to over Rs 12,000. In fact a simple search on Google reveals that GoAir is charging Rs 18,686 (maximum) while SpiceJet commanded Rs 12,199 for a seat.

The most cheapest was one priced at Rs 8069 by Jet Airways. Rates for flight bookings on Friday were lower than ones for Thursday.

But, the DGCA's continuation of grounding exercise suggests that there may not be relief for last-minute ticket bookings.

On Wednesday, as many as 50 flights of IndiGo and GoAir were grounded for a third consecutive day. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation grounded one-third of A320 Neo aircrafts of IndiGo and GoAir over security concerns.

Of the 48 flights, which are not being operated as part of the curtailed schedule, 42 are of IndiGo and six of GoAir.

According to IndiGo's website 42 flights for March 14 have been cancelled. These include flights to Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Dehradun, Amritsar, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, among others. IndiGo operates 1000 daily flights

GoAir's cancellation was a mere 6 flights on Wednesday as against the 18 that it was forced to stop on Tuesday. GoAir operates 230 flights every day.

There are a total of 45 A320 Neo planes fitted with P&W engines with the two airlines.

Of these, IndiGo has 33 and GoAir 12 planes. The cancellation of services in a large number has put thousands of passengers at inconvenience as they had pre-booked these flights amid the concerns of exorbitant fares which are charged by the carriers for last-minute travel.

Although the DGCA's directive is based on passenger safety, many passengers rued about the arrogant behavior of the carriers, and even the rising costs.

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