IA increases domestic airfares from Monday 10 September; Jet to follow?

Domestic air travel will soon be costlier as major airlines, including Indian Airlines and Jet Airways, have increased fares following a continuous rise in prices of jet fuel in the past few months.

Just days after being merged with Air India, Indian Airlines has decided to charge Rs45 to Rs400 more on all discounted, unchecked and apex class tickets. The airline has shied away from calling it a hike and says it will charge a higher slab from 10 September.

The hike will be higher on more popular routes. Though the average hike will be Rs200, the maximum — Rs400 — will be on the Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi-Kochi routes.

Jet Airways has announced an increase of Rs200 on all routes and all fares. Besides this, an additional Rs500 will be levied on all Jet Airways coupons that have been purchased by passengers under various schemes.

The price of aviation turbine fuel or jet fuel, which constitutes 30 to 35 per cent of the operating cost of airlines, has been rising between 2 and 3 per cent over the past several months, forcing the aviation industry to increase fares.

Though other domestic carriers haven't announced any formal hike, they are all learnt to be reducing the number of seats available on lower fares. Fare hikes will depend on general industry behaviour, and carriers are closely watching each other.

Air Deccan founder Captain Gopinath recently announced his airline would hike fares by Rs500 to Rs1,000. Airlines point out that usually, September to December has a high demand for travel, and fares charged are higher than in the monsoon.