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Passenger airfares could see a 20% surge and Boeing Max is one of the reasons

As Indian airlines ground plane after plane, passengers can expect to pay a lot more.

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Mumbai: A pilot shortage for one. A cash crunch for another. And now the Boeing Max crisis. As Indian airlines ground plane after plane, passengers can expect to pay a lot more.

Airfares for domestic travel may rise by 20 per cent heading into the annual school break, a prime time for families to travel, according to an online booking firm. “At least 50 planes are out of action owing to multiple reasons,” said Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer of the business-to-consumer segment at Yatra Online Pvt Ltd. “That’s an eight per cent reduction of domestic airline capacity.”


Also read: Govt to chalk out contingency plan after ban on Boeing 737 fleet affects flight schedules


Clipped Wings

Jet Airways India Ltd. has grounded about 40 per cent of its fleet after failing to pay lessors as it races to fix its debt woes. Budget airline SpiceJet Ltd. said Wednesday that it was pulling 12 Boeing 737 Max planes from service after India joined other nations in shutting its skies to the tainted aircraft at the center of two recent crashes. Asia’s biggest low-cost airline by market value, IndiGo, will be canceling dozens of flights everyday over the next two months as it battles a shortage of skilled pilots following an aggressive expansion.

Meanwhile, Indians just keep flying more. The sector recorded 46 straight months of double-digit growth through to June 2018, according to International Air Transport Association, keeping it on course to becoming the third-largest domestic aviation market by 2024.

With robust demand through the holiday season, Dhall says airfares have only way to go: Up.-Bloomberg


Also read: Why Ethiopian Airlines crash has put the spotlight on Boeing’s most modern jets


 

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