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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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Why have Flights Become so Expensive Right Now?

Over two years since the pandemic induced shut-downs across the world, many people have resumed travelling. However, there has been a significant hike in airfare costs for international vacationers, making it costly. Read on to learn the reasons behind this price surge and what you can do to book cheaper flights in India.

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Plans for an individual of 30 years age travelling to USA for 15 days

Top 5 Reasons for Increase in International Flight Fares

Compared to the pre-pandemic airfares, many countries have seen the cost of flights double. Customers have seen about a 100% hike in air tickets in economy class or business class.

Increase in International Flight Fares

While flight ticket costs are somewhat stable in Europe and North America, some Asian countries saw their airfares rise by 33% this February. Look at some of the reasons behind this sky-high surge in airfares:

COVID-19 Restrictions

Restrictions, lockdowns and uncertainty due to the Coronavirus caused a lot of losses to the airlines as well. Compared to European nations, Asian countries are still in the nascent stages of reopening and functioning at total capacity.

Many Asian countries struggle with labour shortages, increasing costs and operational issues while dealing with post-lockdown flight demand.

Uneven Economic Recovery

Compared to the Western nations, Asian nations are still struggling to recover their economy. Countries like Japan and South Korea had strict COVID-19 restrictions in place and only opened their borders to international visitors in 2022.

Rise in ATF Prices

Hikes in Aviation turbine fuel are among the top reasons for expensive air travel as they constitute around 30-40% running costs of airlines. Fuel prices continue to soar every day due to geopolitics, global prices, taxes, the cost of crude oil, duties and more. All of these directly affect airlines among other necessary operating costs like maintenance of aircraft and aircraft leasing.

Closure of Russian Airspace

One of the reasons for expensive flights is the Russian airspace closure due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russia sealed off its airspace to several countries, forcing many international flights to reroute.

This has made trips longer and hence, a lot more expensive. These restrictions have most impacted regions between Asia, Europe and North America.

Insufficient Capacity

After a hiatus of two years, Indians can once again travel without restrictions. However, the rising seasonal demand has made it difficult for airlines that are still recovering from the losses they incurred due to the lockdown.

Coupled with supply chain issues, high operating costs and limited flights available from India, travellers should be prepared for pricier air tickets.

All these risks and factors have resulted in a significant hike in the airline industry. While you plan your budget for your trip, ensure you also budget for international travel insurance. It will surely save you from any turbulent expenses during emergencies!

Impact on Indian Airlines

India too has not been unaffected by these factors. Other factors like competitive air-ticket pricing, no capping of flight tickets and privatisation of airports have also contributed to soaring air ticket prices in India.

Another major contributor is online ticket sales. With a majority of people buying air tickets online, ticket prices are often decided by algorithms as per dynamic pricing. Coupled with the trend of revenge travelling everywhere, the demand for flights is never-ending which has resulted in higher air ticket pricing. 

Nevertheless, people always find a way around difficulties. The travel industry is an ever-booming one so there are plenty of ways to minimise expenses on travel. Some people even manage to travel abroad for free or by spending very little money - all by careful planning.

What Can You Do to Find Cheaper Flight Tickets?

Find Cheaper Flight Tickets

Who doesn’t want to save money on flying these days? Domestic or international, soaring air ticket costs have certainly made it difficult for travellers to do what they love the most! While there are plenty of ways to find cheaper flights, go through some of the most practical ways to buy affordable flight tickets:

  • Buy/install a VPN when browsing for flights. 
  • Opt for flights with layovers if you have time, as direct flights are costly.
  • Become a frequent flier of the airline you like. It comes with a lot of benefits and loyalty rewards.
  • Book flight tickets early as there may be no dynamic pricing in place at that time.
  • Buy a credit card for travellers which provides discounts or rewards for buying flight tickets. There are plenty of providers that have tie-ups with airlines and offer redeemable miles/points.

Tips to Save Money on International Trips

As per the Reserve Bank of India, Indians spent most money abroad for international holidays in 2022. However, with airfare prices soaring higher than ever, exotic holidays abroad are burning larger holes in their pockets. There has been a 40% increase in the airfare for flights from Delhi to Middle Eastern countries, while a roundtrip from Mumbai to Paris has seen a 50% surge.

Even if customers may find cheaper deals for flights and hotels, another issue remains: visa costs. Countries in Europe are infamous for their long waiting periods and visa rejections. In case of visa rejections, flyers will suffer the loss of airfares and visa fee. Schengen visa costs around INR 8,000 with an average waiting time of 2-3 months. In case of rejection, the flight cost will rarely be compensated in full. However, there are ways to plan your international vacation around these:

  1. Pick countries that offer a visa on arrival or a guaranteed e-visa. Some of the best countries for international travel include Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Bali, Thailand, Dubai and Egypt.

  2. Opt for refundable air tickets. They may cost 20-30% more than average air tickets but in case of visa rejection, you will get the refund.

  3. Plan an international holiday closer to India. Airfares to countries in the American or European continent rise unpredictably but countries closer to India in the South-East Pacific cost significantly less.

  4. Buy international travel insurance at all costs. In case your trip is cancelled due to an emergency, you can easily get a refund for all the costs including hotels, airfares, tour bookings etc. as per the plan purchased.

In a Nutshell

With flight tariffs rising sharply since 2022, airfares don't seem to be going down anytime soon. Travellers surely need to plan their trips carefully and ensure their finances never get out of control.

While you hunt for the cheapest flight and budget-friendly hotels, ensure that you buy travel insurance plan for your trip. It will help you stay financially safe from any emergencies that may come your way.

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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