Domestic air travel recorded its steepest fall in seven years in July when 45.4 lakh people took to the skies — 10% less than the 50.4-lakh figure recorded in the same month last year. India was witnessing low single-digit negative growth for the past three months in domestic air travel, but a combination of very high airfares amid a weakening economy in the lean travel month of July aggravated the fall.
A senior airline official admitted that fares were higher but predicted that air travel will be back in business in the October-December period.
Apart from high fares, airports have also become more expensive. For example, Delhi airport has hiked airline charges by 346% — which is passed on to flyers — apart from levying new direct charges on both incoming and outgoing passengers. So, even as demand and capacity fall, fares are going in the opposite direction.