Airlines and MICE sectors complain of 15-20 % drop after Travel restrictions placed by States

The Airline Industry of India is currently seeing a dip of a 15% drop in domestic flight bookings due to the implementation of the new rules by local governments and authorities in various destinations that require travelers from certain states to carry Covid-19 negative test reports.

The decision had an adverse impact on bookings in the past one week for travel one month out.

Various states and local governments have made it mandatory for passengers, especially from Maharashtra and Kerala currently topping the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases, to carry negative results of RT-PCR tests conducted within 72 hours of the travel date.

Airlines based on the booking trends are expecting that there will be a 10-15% impact in the coming one months’ time. Already crippled by the hike in fuel prices they see this as a major setback that is having a negative impact on the margins. The aviation fuel prices were increased by around 6 % on the 01st March by the Oil companies.

Some of the travel companies especially in the corporate travel segment and MICE said that there was a significant improvement in Corporate and MICE travel during January and February which however is getting tapered off after implementing the restrictions and at this rate, they are expecting a drop of at least 20 %.

There is a call from various corners that there should be a nationwide mandate applicable to passengers instead of some states coming out with arbitrary rules from some states. Travelers fear confusion more than doing the tests. The tests are costing in the range of Rs.400-Rs.2000 which is proving yet another hindrance to the travel.

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