Chennai: Flying to small towns easier but costly

CHENNAI: Flying to small towns from Chennai has become easy because of direct flights, but the last-minute fare continues to be high.
If you are travelling by to Mysore, , Mangalore, , and Rajahmundry on Sunday or Monday, the air fare is in the range of ?3,000 to ?7,200, which is similar to or even higher than the fare to Delhi.

Though the government is promoting regional connectivity, the fare remains a stumbling block to attract flyers to these small towns. However, airline officials say that the fare remains high because of the demand.

For a 50-minute flight on the Chennai-Salem route, the ticket was priced at ?11,000 a few hours before the departure of the flight on Saturday. The fare is ?4,699 for travel on Sunday and ?4,100 for Monday. The service to Salem was started under the regional connectivity scheme, which offers a fare cap for the first few seats. A ticket to Mangalore is priced at ?7,248 while the fare to Tuticorin is ?6,767, which is costlier than the maximum fare to Delhi. The fare is in the range of ?4,282 to ?5,681 on the Chennai-Delhi route for travel in the next two days.

Though airlines have been planning schedules so as to enable travellers to return the same day, the fare remains an impediment. An airline official said only a few seats were sold at cheaper rates. “More flights will be added to some of the routes based on the demand. Airlines will look at the patronage and then decide to add flights,” he added.

Basheer Ahmed of Metro Travels said, “The fare is high because of the demand for travel and fewer flights. There are only one or two flights to many small towns. The number of seats is also less because airlines use 70-seater planes. The fare will come down when the frequencies increase.”

SpiceJet recently introduced an additional flight on the Chennai-Kozhikode route. The route now has two direct flights daily. Similarly, other airlines too have increased their flights based on the patronage. IndiGo, SpiceJet and TruJet have introduced direct flights from Chennai to these destinations because of the potential generated by regional connectivity scheme. Udan flights have a fare cap of ?2,500 for the first few seats. However, low cost carriers have started flying to many smaller airports without taking part in the Udan scheme.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with's FREE daily email newsletter.

Let's block ads! (Why?)