The Indian aviation sector saw good demand over the Diwali weekend, from November 11 to November 12 with 3.94 lakh domestic passengers across 5,993 flights on the first day and 3.25 lakh passengers and 5,707 flights on the second day, according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation data.
While Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport achieved a milestone in terms of total flight movement, online travel portals like EaseMyTrip and Yatra online reported a major jump in demand over the Diwali weekend.
Despite the recent increase in hotel and flight prices, EaseMyTrip saw a notable upsurge in domestic travel bookings. Nishant Pitti, CEO & Co-Founder of EaseMyTrip told CNBC-TV18 , “We noticed 2X increase in bookings for the Diwali weekend in 2023 compared to 2022."
He added that average airfares to popular routes increased by 10-20 percent and that the pattern highlights the tenacity and zeal of tourists during the festive season.
Major demand was recorded in Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chennai, Delhi- Hyderabad and Delhi-Kolkata routes, he said.
Online travel services provider Yatra Online too boasted of high demand for ticket and hotel bookings in metros, non-metro cities, as well as Tier 2 to Tier 3 cities.
“For last-minute bookings (within 15 days of travel), fares were approximately 30% higher. Most hotel bookings are for the period after November 15 until New Year’s," Bharatt Malik, Senior VP – Flights & Hotel Business of Yatra Online said.
He also explained that long-haul destinations like the United States and Europe are less popular during the festive season due to higher costs and longer planning times. "Short-haul destinations, being less expensive and require less planning time, are more preferred,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai airport witnessed a rise in passenger traffic with a total of 516,562 flyers during the Diwali weekend from November 11 to November 13. The airport also posted a highest single-day record of 1,032 air traffic movements (ATMs) on November 11, surpassing the December 9, 2018 record of 1,004 ATMs.
The total 516,562 passenger movement from CSMIA comprised 354,541 flyers on domestic routes and 162,021 flyers on international routes. The airport said that it catered to over 2,894 ATMs with 2,137 domestic flights and 757 flights on international routes.
Top destinations in terms of domestic passenger included Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai for international it was Dubai, London, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. On the other hand Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru reported total air traffic movement of around 700 flights and 1 lakh passenger movement over the Diwali weekend. Almost 90,000 passenger traffic movement was for domestic and 10,000 for international.